Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2008
Publication Date: 5/1/2009
Citation: Moreau, R.A. 2009. Barley Oil. In: Moreau, R.A., Kamal-Eldin, A., editors. Gourmet and Health-Promoting Specialty Oils. Urbana: AOCS Press. p. 455-478.
Technical Abstract: Barley (Hordeum vulgare) is an ancient grain that has was domesticated for use as a food. Currently only about 2% is used for food, about two thirds is used for animal feed and one third for malting. Because the oil content of most barley cultivars is low (<2%), obtaining oil from whole barley grain is not easy or economical. However, when barley is milled by various methods some of its milling fractions are enriched in oil (up to about 10%) and these fractions have been used to produce barley oil. Barley oil is a high-linoleate oil, whose fatty acid composition is similar to corn oil and several other "commodity" plant oils. The composition of phytosterols in barley oil is higher than in most commodity plant oils. The most unique feature about barley oil is the very high levels of tocotrienols (especially a-tocotrienol). Several studies have demonstrated health-promoting properties of barley oil. The health promoting property that has received the most attention is the ability of barley oil to reduce the levels of serum cholesterol in laboratory animals and in humans, which is attributed to its high levels of tocotrienols.