Difference between Barley and Wheat

 

Key Difference: Barley, belonging to the Hordeum genus of the Plantae kingdom is a member of the grass family and is considered as a cereal grain. Barley has various different uses including bread, cereal, animal fodder, for fermenting beer and other distilled beverages, soups, stews, bread and algicide. Wheat, belonging to the Triticum genus, under the Plantae kingdom is also a member of the grass family and is considered as a cereal grain. Wheat is used in various applications around the world. The most common usage of wheat includes as a staple food in many countries such as flour and bread.

 

Barley and wheat are two common types of grains that are part of the grass family. These are a common part of our daily diet. Due to their similarities in nature and appearance, they are often confused as the other, but are very different from each other.

 

Barley, belonging to the Hordeum genus of the Plantae kingdom is a member of the grass family and is considered as a cereal grain. The term ‘barley’ is derived from the Old English word ‘bære’, which can be traced back to Proto-Indo-European, similar to the Latin word for flour. Barley was one of the first domesticated grains in the Fertile Crescent, northeast Africa. It appeared around the same time as einkorn and emmer wheat. Barley is a self-pollinating, diploid species with 14 chromosomes.

 

Wild barley has a brittle spike, which upon maturity separate and give off seeds. The domesticated barley, most commonly used in today’s world, has non-shattering spikes, which are much easier to harvest when matured. There are different types of barley: Two-row barley, six-row barley and hulless barley. In two-row barley, there are actually three spikelets, which are arranged in triplets alternating along the rachis. The center spikelet is the only one that is fertilized, while the other two are reduced. In six-row barleys, a pair of mutations results in fertile lateral spikelets. The two-row barley has a lower protein content compared to six-row barley, thus more fermentable sugar content. The third type of barley, known as hulless barley is a form of domesticated barley which makes it easier to remove the hull.

 

Barley has various different uses including bread, cereal, animal fodder, for fermenting beer and other distilled beverages, soups, stews, bread and algicide. The most common usage of barley is in beer and malt, where it is used as fermentation material in these beverages. Barley is considered to be high in carbohydrates, fat, protein, dietary fiber, vitamin B, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, folate, riboflavin, etc.  Since it also contains good fat and low bad fat, it is considered to be a good dieting food in order to lose weight.

 

Barley is also associated with many health benefits; the fiber in barley reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and can lower cholesterol. Barley can also reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and colon cancer. It also has fewer calories and is a great dieting food.

 

Wheat, belonging to the Triticum genus, under the Plantae kingdom is also a member of the grass family and is considered as a cereal grain. Wheat is also one of the first cereals that have been domesticated along with barley. It was also easy to domesticate because of its ability to self-pollinate. Wheat originates from the Levant region of the Near East and Ethiopian Highlands.

 

There are various different kinds of wheat species including wild wheat, einkorn wheat, and common wheat. Common wheat is the wheat that is most popularly used worldwide and its scientific name is Triticum aesativum. It is a hexaploid, which contains six sets of chromosome. It is the third most produced cereal in the world, according to a 2010 studies. Wheat can be planted in two seasons, spring (known as spring wheat) and winter (known as winter wheat). Wheat grass can grow between 2 and 4 feet tall. It resembles other grass cereals, with a tall stalk that ends in a tightly formed cluster of kernels close to the top. When wheat matures, the stalk usually bends due to the weight of the kernels.

 

Wheat is used in various applications around the world. The most common usage of wheat includes as a staple food in many countries such as flour and bread. It is also used as mulch, construction material, fermentation of distilled alcoholic beverages, biofuel and animal bedding. Wheat can be consumed in three different forms, the most commonly known as white wheat, where the whole wheat is stripped down to the endosperm, removing the bran and the germ. The bran and germ can be packaged and sold separately. Wheat that is not stripped and sold whole, with bran and germ is known as whole-wheat and offers the most health benefits.

 

Wheat offers protein, fat, carbohydrate, dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, vitamin B, folate, calcium, manganese, zinc, potassium and starch. It is said to offer health benefits such as less carbohydrates, helps reduce risk of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, lessens chronic inflammation, helps prevent gallstones, provides protection against breast cancer, etc.

 

 

Barley

Wheat

Kingdom

Plantae

Plantae

Order

Poales

Poales

Family

Poaceae

Poaceae

Subfamily

Pooideae

Pooideae

Genus

Hordeum

Triticum

Types

Two-row barley, six-row barley and hulless barley.

Common wheat, Spelt, Durum, Emmer and Einkorn

Uses

Animal fodder, fermentation for beer, algicide and food.

Bread, flour, mulch, construction material, fermentation, biofuel and animal bedding.

Nutrition

Carbohydrates, fat, protein, dietary fiber, vitamin B, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, folate, riboflavin, etc.

Protein, fat, carbohydrate, dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, vitamin B, folate, calcium, manganese, zinc, potassium and starch.

Plant disease

Barley is susceptible to diseases including barley mild mosaic bymovirus, bacterial blight, powdery mildew, leaf scald, barley rust, head blight, and various diseases caused by Cochliobolus sativus.

There are many diseases that can be caused by fungi, bacteria, and viruses. many diseases that can infect the plant has been categorized into: seed-borne diseases, leaf- and head- blight diseases, crown and root rot diseases and viral diseases. Birds, animals, rodents and insects can also cause damage to the crop by eating newly planted seeds or new crops.

Health benefits

The fiber in barley reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and can lower cholesterol. Barley can also reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and colon cancer. It has fewer calories and is a great dieting food.

 The health benefits of wheat depend on the form that it is consumed in. wheat is most beneficial in its whole form, known as whole wheat. whole wheat has less carbohydrates, reduces risk of metabolic syndrome, risk of type 2 diabetes, lessens chronic inflammation, helps prevent gallstones, provides protection against breast cancer, etc.

 

 

Image Courtesy: 961beers.com
Image Courtesy: wisegeek.com

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