Ardent Mills Brings Together Growers, Breeders, Scientific Experts to Share Insights
DENVER, Colorado, March 2, 2017 –Ardent Mills flour, the premier flour and ingredient company, initiated a two-day conference at its Denver headquarters, February 23-24 to help key barley industry entities share knowledge and insights regarding this powerhouse grain.
"In a world filled with oats and wheat, Ardent Mills brought together leaders from across the full spectrum of the barley industry to explore the significance of this ‘unsung hero’ of the grain world for human health and diet,” states Ardent Mills’ Laura Wooster, Business Development at Ardent Mills. “All attendees came prepared to share their knowledge, explore new culinary applications and outline opportunities.”
“When it comes to gut health and satiety, barley is an underappreciated player,” notes Corrie Whisner, PhD, Arizona State University. “Barley ranks high for fiber content and we are learning it has a significant impact on the development of ‘good bacteria’ in the gut microbiome.”
Idaho Barley Commissioner Kelly Olson added, “We are excited to see barley get more culinary and consumer attention. The IBC sees this powerhouse grain has the potential to be the next “super grain” in terms of great nutrition, versatility, affordability and sustainable growing. It’s time more people know about it and use it.”
Steve Riggers, Idaho barley farmer, noted that “Barley fits nicely into our sustainable farming systems in northern Idaho and I am optimistic about future growth opportunities.”
According to the IBC, soluble fiber from barley, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. Whole grain barley and dry milled barley products, such as pearled barley kernels, flakes, grits and flour, provide at least 0.75 grams of soluble fiber per serving and contains key components that have been shown to provide specific nutritional benefits for human health. These include beta-glucan fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals, protein, vitamins and minerals. Like other whole grains, barley is an important source of complex carbohydrates that helps fuel the body, and barley is free of saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. Barley is grown in the Northwest regions of the U.S. and Canada and is an original American Indian food known for its heartiness and high nutrition. Available in beige, blue, black and purple varietals, barley can be used like brown rice or quinoa.
“Barley is not just another beige grain,” noted Ardent Mills Director for Consumer Insights David Sheluga. “More people are learning about this overlooked and underappreciated grain for culinary applications. Barley tends to be known for beer or spirit production and as animal feed. But, barley is ripe for adoption in a food culture where people are looking for the next great thing, whether that’s a vegetable, some global inspiration or a grain. Our research found that consumers and influencers are most attracted by the ruggedness of scenic lands where barley is grown and the pioneering people who grow barley.”
Executive Development Chef Daniel Marciani, Ardent Mills, described how, “Beyond great nutrition, barley has more culinary depth and possibilities than most people can imagine. People may know it’s used in some breads and soups, but since I’ve started working with different barley forms, I’ve learned about its great range. I've worked on applications that exemplify barley's color and textural attributes, including Black Barley and Smoked Ham Cabbage Slaw, Purple Barley Cinnamon and Goat Cheese Pudding, Black Barley & Roasted Mushroom Vegetable Patties and Green Olive & Purple Barley Artisan Boule just to name a few. Barley overall has a sweet nutty flavor and can serve as a chef’s ‘canvas’ to create new and exciting sweet and savory applications."
About Ardent Mills
Ardent Mills is the premier flour-milling and ingredient company whose vision is to be the trusted partner in nurturing its customers, consumers and communities through innovative and nutritious grain-based solutions. Ardent Mills' operations and services are supported by more than 40 flour mills and bakery-mix facilities along with a specialty bakery and Mobile Innovation Center, all located in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. Deeply rooted in communities throughout North America, Ardent Mills is headquartered in Denver, Colorado and employs more than 100 certified millers, supporting thousands of local jobs and contributing billions of dollars to local economies. To learn more about Ardent Mills, visit ardentmills.com.