‘Naked’ barley, is known as such because it loses its husk (or glume) naturally – meaning it retains its bran layer and, therefore, much of its goodness.
120 types of grain
It is being reintroduced by ingredients firm Edme, which along with agricultural environmentalist William Hudson and the John Innes Centre, has been experimenting with 120 different types of grain.
The first commercial crop has just been harvested, and it won’t be long before it’s appearing in breads and baked goods on supermarket shelves, says Edme sales director Mike Carr.
‘Demand to far outstrip supply’
“We’re expecting demand to far outstrip supply. Bakers are really keen to get their hands on unusual, wholesome ingredients,” he explained.
“Naked barley is a fascinating ancient variety that delivers huge dietary benefits. Its flour and flakes can be used in breads, cakes, biscuits, pastries and breakfast cereals – enhancing nutritional value and adding flavour,” Carr added.
The naked barley variety that has been developed is Gengel.