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article imageAustralia develops first approved gluten free barley

By Tim Sandle     Apr 19, 2016 in Food
Sydney - Australia has produced the first World Health Organization approved “gluten free” barley. This will allow for a broader range of gluten free products to be produced, including beer.
Those who are gluten intolerant and who miss a good brew have to turn to alternatives like rice and sorghum for the brewing of gluten-free beer. While these alternatives might do, they do not match the range of flavors and tastes that can be created using more traditional cereal crops. Another alternative has been to make traditional beer and then attempt to strip the barley out.
Gluten refers to a mixture of two proteins (prolamins and glutelins and is conjoined with starch) found in wheat and related grains. It provides the chewy texture to food products like bread.
The gluten free barley has been developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). The barley is branded Kebari. Although misreported by other media outlets as “gluten free” the barley actually contains very low levels of gluten. However, this level should not cause an adverse reaction with most people who are gluten intolerant. Kebari barley has 10,000 times less gluten than standard strains (which equates to 5 parts gluten per million.) Thus it meets the World Health Organization classification of a gluten free grain.
Welcomed by many environmentalists, Kebari barley is not made using genetically modified organisms. Instead it was the product of several decades of cross breeding low gluten varieties of barley in a bid to create very low gluten strains.
Such is the success of the barley that 70 tonnes of the new barley have been sold to Germany’s largest brewer Radeberger. A beer will be produced and sold within Germany through stores.
Quoted by News Daily, Phin Ziebell, an agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank commented: “A true gluten-free barley variety is a true game changer, there is going to be a massive market for the product.”
The gluten free market is a fast growing one, worth some $7.59 billion globally. While a sizable proportion of the population are gluten intolerant, a larger proportion of gluten free products are purchased by people who have no intolerance whatsoever. This is under the erroneous belief that gluten free equates to ‘healthy’ or it will make the person feel better.
More about gluten free, Beer, beer barley, Barley
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