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Freedom Foods launches barley super grain line to revolutionize gut health in US

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Gill Hyslop

By Gill Hyslop+

26-Jul-2017

Freedom Foods has developed a line of cereals and snacks containing a barley super grain that promotes gut health. Pic: ©iStock/nd3000
Freedom Foods has developed a line of cereals and snacks containing a barley super grain that promotes gut health. Pic: ©iStock/nd3000

Australian natural foods company, Freedom Foods Group, is launching a range of cereal and snack products in the US made from a non-GMO Australian barley grain that promotes better gut nutrition.

The Barley+ Toasted Muesli and Snack Bar range contains BARLEYmax, a barley super grain that has been studied for over three decades by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organizations (CSIRO).

Angelo De Blasio, North American marketing manager, Freedom Foods, told BakeryandSnacks that CSIRO research, under the leadership of Dr Zhongyi Li, has confirmed the health-promoting properties of the grain.

Fiber powerhouse

He said the barley grain has a notable nutritional profile compared to many other commercially available grains, containing:

  • Three times the fibre of oats
  • Four times the resistant starch of most grains
  • Five times the protein of oats
  • 50% of the Glycemic Index (GI) of oats
  • 35% less carbohydrates than oats
  • 70% less sodium than oats

According to Dr Joanna McMillan, nutrition advisor for Freedom Foods, eating more wholegrains reduces the risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and can help control weight.

Just one serving of Barley+ Toasted Muesli contains almost 2-ounces of wholegrains, which is nearly two-thirds of the recommended 3-ounce daily intake.

Weight shifting

The company believed so strongly in the health benefits of its Barley+ range that they placed 50 employees on a 28-day Reboot Nutrition and Lifestyle Program at the beginning of the year.

Participants substituted their normal daily breakfast with a bowl of Barley+ Muesli and a Barley+ Muesli Bar.

Results showed a reduction in group mean body weight, body fat and body mass index (BMI), and a positive shift in feelings of anger.

Freedom Foods now proposes to support a rigorous university-based randomized controlled trial to further validate these results. 

Ancient grain

Commenting on the origins of the grain, De Blasio said these remain elusive, “however we know it was collected early on last century, almost certainly from the Himalayas.”

“Today, the commercially-developed BARLEYmax grain is grown in the state of Victoria, Australia, in close proximity to Freedom Foods’ new Dandenong facility that produces the Barley+ range,” he said.

Kroger Supermarkets in the US will become the first in the world to launch the Barley+ range, on shelf from mid-July. Distribution is expected to roll out to additional US stores, as well as to Australia – through the retailer Coles – in August.

The toasted muesli collection comes in three flavors: Cranberry and Nuts, Pink Lady and Macadamia Muesli, and Maple and Nut, at a RRP of US$6.49.

The $21.5m Freedom Foods Group produces a wide portfolio of “health-focused” foods in six facilities in Australia, including a dairy processing plant in Victoria; the Dandenong factory; and an allergen-, nut- and gluten-free facility in North South Wales.

The Sydney-headquartered business also operates a Sports Nutrition and Powders factory in the city, along with one of the largest plant-based milk facilities in Australia.

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