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The super barley was developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency. Teijin acquired the exclusive Asia-region sales rights to BARLEYmax in 2020, and is developing business in markets with growth potential.

The Tokyo-headquartered tech-driven enterprise is focused on enhancing the quality of life by providing people with functional foods under its healthcare arm. It is also involved in the fields of environmental value; safety, security and disaster mitigation; and demographic change and increased health consciousness.

Racking up the advantages

According to Teijin, the barley can be used in place of conventional barley – specifically in breads and cereals – but comes to the party with 15 times the dietary fibre than rolled barley and 40 times more than white rice. The dietary fibre it contains includes fructan, β-glucan and resistant starch, each of which enters the intestine at a different digestive rate to provide food for good bacteria.

The barley also packs in iron, zinc, niacin and vitamin B6, all typically lacking in modern diets – along with less sugar than other grains, calculated by the Standard Tables of Food Composition, part of the Japanese Food Labelling Standards.

It presents with a mild taste that is neither bitter nor harsh and sweeter than general barleys. It is also virtually odourless.

Global footprint

Teijin said the barley is increasingly being adopted for use in cereals, breads and even confectionery in Japan and other parts of Asia, and is starting to gain a following in the US and Australia. Utilising EPSA’s sales channels in Spain and Portugal, Teijin also aims to establish a further footprint in Italy, France, Germany and the Netherlands.