Into the annals of food cures steps a new innovation in the pasta department. Researchers have created pasta made
with barley, which could significantly improve the health benefits of this Italian cuisine staple.
File this one under health breakthroughs for whole grains, a group that includes barley. The health news, reported in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,” highlights how barley is gaining interest as an ingredient in functional foods.
These are the supermarket items that actually exert functions in the human body due to the nutrients and natural chemicals they contain.
Thus, we might soon see packages of pasta labeled “goodsource of dietary fiber” and “may reduce the risk of heart
disease” thanks to the development of this barley pasta. Famous for giving beer its characteristic strength and flavor, barley could transform the spaghetti aisle.
Barley is an excellent source of fiber and antioxidants, which are natural chemicals believed to prevent the kind of
cellular damage that can lead to chronic disease (starting with cancer) naturally.
The functional foods idea is believed to have started in Japan in the mid-1980s and caught on around the world with health-conscious consumers. This fast-growing industry is expected to tip over $176 billion two years from now.
Barley is already added to some bakery products.
To determine whether barley could make a new functional spaghetti by providing fiber and antioxidants, the
researchers developed special barley flour. It contains the most nutritious part of the grain, and they used it to make
pasta. This flour corresponds to the barley by-products and has been obtained by a healthy separation method, such as air classification.
They found that the barley spaghetti had more fiber and more antioxidant activity than traditional semolina-based spaghettis. So keep watch for paste made with barley, as it may give you extra protection against disease.
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