Malt…The Processed Barley

Malting process

Because the starch in the kernel of the barley grain is not soluble in water, the grain needs to undergo a process called “Malting” to release the starch. Barley grains straight from the fields contain all manners of impurities; therefore before barley is malted it has to be cleaned.

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Cleaning process

After the initial cleaning, the barley is stored in silos where it undergoes a period of post ripening. After the impurities are removed through sifting and the barley is sorted according to grain size, three processes of the malting process take place: steeping, germinating and kilning.

Steeping process

Steeping is the simple process of increasing the moisture content in the barley grains; it is during this process where the living kernel of the grain absorbs water. The duration of steeping barley is 24 hours, and then the barley kernel germinates.

Germination process

The main purpose of ger- mination is to form enzymes, which can break down the starch present in the barley kernel, so that it will be soluble. The end result of this pro- cess is what is known as ‘green malt’.

Kilning process

Green malt is then kilned or dried to stop the germination and also to enable storage .The most commonly used drying method is to expose the green malt to hot air (up to 80 °C). It is during this process that green malt develops its colours and flavours. After kilning, the malt can enjoy a rest period of approximately 3 weeks after which it is polished to remove any dust and is ready for brewing.

Barley…The Underrated Grain

When it comes to whole grains, not many can offer the same nutritional value, while offering a wide variety of tasty cooking uses, that barley can. This ancient grain packed with essential vitamins and nutrients is becoming a big hit amongst the currently popular ‘Health Conscious’ fad.

This underestimated whole grain is also pumped up with both soluble and insoluble fibres which may reduce blood cholesterol levels and lowers the risk of heart disease.

Studies show that a healthy diet for the heart should consist of a high fibre intake (which barley offers in excess!) while avoiding foods that contain cholesterol such as liver and egg yolks, saturated fats in fatty cuts of meat or chicken and also trans fats, which are found in foods that contain hydrogenated vegetable oils such as cookies, baked goods and, of course, fried foods.

Research shows that the soluble dietary fibre, found in high percentages in barley, effectively reduces cholesterol levels by attaching themselves to fatty substances and removing them. Soluble fiber also slows the blood absorption of sugar which decreases the body’s need for insulin, this is especially beneficial for those suffering from diabetes.

Health & nutrition professionals recommend that whole grains, such as barley, be eaten every day to boost your body’s fiber intake levels (recommended at 25-38 grams per day). Barley, with its soluble and insoluble fibres, is not only an excellent dietary choice, but it is also extremely versatile with its ability to be used in a variety of recipes including baked goods, salads, casseroles and as a substitute for many rice-based dishes.

Dr. Sherif Azmy
Nutrition Consultant
At Nasser Institute

Barley can fight Type 2 Diabetes

As far as whole grains go, few can offer the same nutrition and fiber levels as Barley. This ancient grain’s amazing benefits are often underestimated and unnoticed. Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. It is when the body does not use insulin properly, sometimes called insulin resistance. At first, the pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it but, over time it can’t generate enough insulin to keep blood glucose at normal levels.

Recently the rate of diabetics in Egypt increased significantly, exceeding the international rates, as per the 4th Arab Diabetes forum. Egypt ranks the eighth among the 360 million patients globally with over 16 million patients suffering from this life altering disease.

The good news however, is that health nutrition professionals confirm that Type 2 Diabetes can be controlled and can even be prevented. It is all about making some simple, but important lifestyle choices; such as weight loss, regular physical activity and including plenty of whole grain food products in the daily diet such as barley.

Soluble fibers within the Barley grain are found in abundance, and are extremely effective in preventing and treating ‘Type 2 Diabetes’. Barley contains a beta-gluten fiber which reduces the rate of glucose absorption in your body, therefore, decreases the levels of insulin secreted by the pancreas to deal with your glucose intake. Studies have shown that people who consume baked food that contain barley have lower glucose and insulin levels to those who do not.

So what is distinctive about Barley? Most whole grains only contain fibers on the outer layer of the grain; Barley however is rich in soluble fibers throughout the whole grain which allows the preservation of the fibers even if the barley grain has been processed — and that is called “Hulled Barely” Hulled Barley is richer in fiber due as the grain remains intact while “pearled barley” contains high levels of fibers and nutrients.

Living healthy can definitely does not mean lack of enjoyment of indulgence. A wide variety of dishes containing Barley, for example barley and lentil soup, curried barley casseroles or even exotic wild mushroom and barley risotto are both delicious and very healthy.

Dr. Sherif Azmy
Nutrition Consultant
At Nasser Institute

Barley…Grain with long history

Barley’s domestication

Remains of barley grains found at archaeological sites in the Fertile Crescent indicate that around 10,000years ago, barley was domesticated from ‘Hordeum Spontaneum’ , its wild variant. Wide presence; long heritage Wild barley ranged from North Africa to the Tibet with the earliest evidence of the grain dating back to about 8,500 BC near the Sea of Galilee.

Drink of the pharaohs

Archeological excavations as far as 100 km from Cairo, Egypt have shown that barley was grown over 8,000 years ago. Beer was an extremely popular drink among Ancient Egyptians, drank by adults and children. Beer or ‘Hqt’ (pronounced Heqet) was the drink of the wealthy and poor. Engraving on temple walls depict barley being used to make uniquely light bread that would later be fermented in water to make beer before being stored in jars. Archeologists have found traces in drinking jars that indicate that barley was used to make malt while dates and spices were often added to enhance the flavor.

Barley the power grain

Barley was also quite popular in Ancient Greece, often mixed with herbs to make a drink called Kykeon. Barley was also dried to make porridge and was a regular food for Greek Gladiators. The ancient Greeks also found barley to be a very good remedy for gastrointestinal inflammations. The Hebrews even used the grain as a symbol of power and gave it a warlike connotation.

Barley today

Currently, there are around 16 different species of barley growing in over 100 countries across the globe.

Uncovering Nutrition Values of Barley

Significant fiber content

While the fibers in most grains are largely concentrated in the outer bran layer, barley’s fiber nutrients are present throughout the whole grain, which may account for its extraordinary high fiber levels and b-gluten (dietary fiber) grain content. # Like all agricultural foods, barley is naturally cholesterol-free and low in fat. A 1/2-cup serving of cooked pearl barley, a typical grain serving, contains less than 1/2gram of fat and only 100 calories. Yet Barley is also quite filling, which is quite useful for people on diets.

Barley’s nutrients & effects on health…

Food with barley not only adds flavor, but also provides many nutrients as it is a great source for Molybdenum, Manganese, dietary fiber and Selenium, as well as providing high levels of Cooper, Vitamin B1, Chromium, Phosphorus, Magnesium and Niacin. Barley also contains antioxidants, which are essential for maintaining a healthy diet. Antioxidants work to reduce the rate of oxidative damage by rounding up free radicals that form when body cells use Oxygen.

Other beauty benefits…

Indeed, barley also applied to the skin for treating boils have also yielded successful outcomes.

Integrating barley into food products

It is very popular as a breakfast cereal, but can also be used to great effect in soups and stews and as a rice substitute for dishes such as risotto. Barley offers a variety of health benefits, while maintaining the unique flavor.

Barley…A Global Grain

A top ranking crop

Barley is the 4th mostly produced grain in the world coming directly after wheat, rice and corn. Barley accounts for 7-8% percent of the world’s cereal products.[1]

A versatile grain

Barley has a variety of uses; it is commercially used as animal feed; it is also used to produce malt which is used in the production of malted beverages and malt vinegar. Barley is also used as seed and in human food products such as breads as well as soup thickener. Approximately 51% of all barley crops contribute to animal feed, while 44% percent is used to produce malt, 3% for seeds and finally 2%is dedicated towards food products.

Top producers

Despite its origins in the East, today’s top growers of barley are the EU (40%), Russia (8%) and Ukraine (7%)[3].

A highly adaptable grain

Barley is a highly adaptable grain with the ability to grow in climates ranging from subarctic tosubtropical areas.[2]




A Truly Rich Grain

Extraordinary fiber content

Fiber levels found in barley are extraordinarily high thanks to having the fiber nutrients present throughout the whole grain unlike most other grains in which fibers are only concentrated in the outer bran layer only. This rich fiber content makes barley recommended for regularity, lower cholesterol and for intestinal protection.

Barley a mine of nutrients

Barley is also very rich in nutrients such as molybdenum, magnesium, selenium, copper, Vitamin B1, chromium, phosphorus and niacin. This makes it especially beneficial for a wide array of illnesses such as Arthritis, cardiovascular risks, cholesterol and it also helps in the development and repair of body tissue.[1]

Barley the healthy grain

Vitamins C & E present in green barley are important antioxidants for human health.[2] Barley also has a high content of ferulic acid which can improve strength and increase lean muscle mass and acts as a strong membrane antioxidant.

Barley the choice of diabetic patients

Barley contains essential vitamins and minerals as well as being an excellent source of dietary fibre, particularly beta-gluten soluble fibre which makes it an excellent choice for those who are suffering from type 2 Diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Barley ideal for keeping fit

Barley is naturally cholesterol-free and low in fat. A ½ cup serving of cooked pearl barleycontains less than 0.5 grams of fat and only 100 calories.[3]

Osmanleya with Fayrouz Pineapple & Dates



  • ½ k fresh konafa
  • 250 gms soft butter
  • 2 cups whipped cream
  • ¾ k black dates (cleaned, pitted and cut lengthwise)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup Fayrouz Pineapple
  • ½ cup water
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Vanilla



  1. For the syrup: Put sugar, Fayrouz pineapple, water and vanilla in a saucepan over low heat and leave to simmer till golden and honey like.
  2. Add lemon juice and take off from heat.
  3. Leave to cool a bit before using.
  4. Cut konafa into small pieces like angel hair.
  5. Mix cut konafa with butter.
  6. Fry konafa in a pan over medium heat till golden.
  7. Mix with a bit of syrup.
  8. When cooled, put half konafa mix in serving dish.
  9. Cover with a thick layer of whipped cream and dates.
  10. Cover with rest of konafa.
  11. Sprinkle with more syrup.
  12. Serve cold.


Turkey Sharkaseya (walnut gravy) with Fayrouz



  • 1 small Turkey
  • ½ cup Fayrouz (your choice of flavor)
  • 4 slices of white toast
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • Lemon juice
  • ½ cup of fresh walnuts
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Boil the turkey after adding in spices on high heat.
  2. Soak toast with Fayrouz then grind with walnut, lemon juice, garlic and spices and cook on low
  3. heat till it thickens and is gravy like.
  4. Serve turkey with sauce and white rice.