Nutritionally superior wholegrain set to help UK consumers shatter the fibre divide

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Nutritionally superior wholegrain set to help UK consumers shatter the fibre divide

Related tags Ab mauri The Healthy Grain fibre gap Dietary fibre Csiro

AB Mauri has signed an exclusive agreement to distribute BARLEYmax – which provides twice the dietary fibre than conventional cereal varieties like barley, wheat and oats – to help consumers in Great Britain and Ireland overcome the detrimental ‘fibre gap’.

It is widely known that consumers around the globe don’t consume enough fibre. Inadequate dietary fibre intake is particularly widespread in the UK, where currently only 9% of adults meet the recommended amount of fibre, according to the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

What is the fibre gap?

An important gap exists between the daily amounts of fibre recommended in the human diet (28g-42g per day) and that which is actually consumed (median intake, 12g-14g/d).

In 2015, the UK government’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recommended increasing the dietary recommendation of fibre from 24g to 30g per day, however, there has been very little change in the nation’s intake.

The pandemic rate of global obesity – with dangerous results like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, and several types of cancer – has prompted a resurgence of interest in dietary fibre, and industry has come to the consensus this ‘ancient solution’ can help solve what is today a 22nd​ Century problem.

Enter Australian-based wholegrain specialist The Healthy Grain and BARLEYmax – the next evolution of whole grain superfoods.

The BARLEYMax story begins in the late 1990s.

Researchers from Australia’s leading research organisation CSIRO developed a collection of new, non-GM barley grains through conventional breeding processes, assessing their potential to improve health by delivering high levels of resistant starch and other dietary fibre components.

One stood out above the rest and went on to become BARLEYmax.

BARLEYmax loves you

The ingredient’s double punch of dietary fibre over other cereal varieties has a true impact on consumer health, and fully authorises producers to make an on-pack ‘gut health’ claim. With gut health being a leading consumer trend of 2022-23, this firmly positions a manufacturer to capitalise on the growing interest in how the gut effects overall wellbeing.

BARLEYmax total dietary fibre

The unique blend of different types of fibre has four times the level of resistant starch of most grains, along with 70% more Beta-Glucan than oats and is low GI.

One grain at a time

Already a proven success in Asian and Australian markets, BARLEYmax is currently used as flour, flakes and kibble in applications like baked goods, bread, breakfast cereals, noodles, pasta and rice products. AB Mauri was granted exclusive distribution rights in UK and Ireland, following three years of development to build a network of manufacturers interested in fully utilising the UK-grown barley.

“We know that the technical expertise, product development, sales capabilities and strength of the AB Mauri supply chain and logistics systems will ensure that the unique benefits of BARLEYmax are made widely available,” ​said Robert Burbury, CEO of THG.

BARLEYmax growing

Beyond its ability to close the fibre gap, BARLEYmax will help UK farmers to diverge from the commodity market, in turn encouraging a more sustainable use of land and going a long way towards improving food security. In fact, a UK grower said it is “motivating to supply a crop that we know is to be utilised because of its nutritional benefits over other crops, as a result of very specific demand.”

Added Hannah Parry, bread development manager for AB Mauri UK&I, “Wholegrains that are nutritionally superior – such as BARLEYmax – provide the food industry with a tool to innovate and offer consumers a wider selection of healthy products on the shelves, ultimately reducing the nation’s fibre shortfall.

Andrew Pollard, MD of AB Mauri UK&I, concluded, “Alongside our Agricultural partner, Agrii, we are delighted to bring this nutritionally superior barley to the UK and Ireland market.”

AB Mauri UK & Ireland is a business entity formed from the merger of Cereform, Mauri Products and Gb Plange UK, providing a comprehensive range of technical bakery ingredients and yeast products to bakers in the UK and Ireland.


Perspective: Closing the Dietary Fiber Gap: An Ancient Solution for a 21st Century Problem

Authors: Henry J Thompson and Mark A Brick

Adv Nutr. 2016 Jul; 7(4): 623–626.

doi: 10.3945/an.115.009696

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