Functional Food Barley
Contact person: Dr Katherine Steele
Funding sources: Welsh Government
Background: Naked barley is deemed to offer a number of nutritional / health benefits over conventional barley, as well as having resilience under challenging growing conditions. However, greater work is needed to enhance its yield and other attributes. Since 2008, field trials have been carried out with a range of novel breeding lines and control cultivars. Four breeding lines have been selected for agronomic performance in the field and glasshouse. The grain has been tested for nutritional components and health benefits. They were found to have lower glycaemic index (GI) values than oats. Selected lines have been demonstrated at numerous sites across the UK and have been tested by farmers. We have also developed a crop for product testing with small and medium enterprises and larger food companies.
- To select and evaluate novel breeding lines of naked barley for agronomic traits
- Engage with food industry companies to develop and test marketable products from naked barley
- To develop a supply chain for food barley in the UK
Collaborators: Prof. Gary Frost (Imperial College London), Dr Edward Dickin (Harper Adams University)
- Breeding low-glycemic index barley for functional food Steele, K., Dickin, E., Keerio, M. D., Samad, S., Kambona, C., Brook, R., Thomas, W. & Frost, G., 31 Dec 2013, In : Field Crops Research. 154, December, p. 31-39
- Agronomic diversity of naked barley (Hordeum vulgare L.): a potential resource for breeding new food barley for Europe Dickin, E., Steele, K., Edwards-Jones, G. & Wright, D., 1 Mar 2012, In : Euphytica. 184, 1, p. 85-99
- Effect of genotype, environment and agronomic management on β-glucan concentration of naked barley grain intended for health food use. Dickin, E., Steele, K., Frost, G., Edwards-Jones, G. & Wright, D., 21 Mar 2011, In : Journal of Cereal Science.
Figure 1. Image showing plot trials for distinctiveness, uniformity and stability selection of novel breeding lines
Figure 2. Image showing four barley varieties: Static is a hulled variety and the other three are naked varieties from around the world. The novel lines are derived from crosses with Static and naked varieties.
Figure 3. Novel barley Line 15 (left) and elite spring barley Propino (right) at Gwelfor Farm, Conwy Valley, at 220 m altitude. Photo: Robert Brook, Bangor University.