While barley is at the heart of one of the world’s most favourite beverages – beer – Evergrain founder and CEO Greg Belt noted it has ancient roots as a life-giving food.
In fact, barley was one of humanity’s first cultivated grains – dating back to about 8,000 BCE – domesticated from its wild progenitor Hordeum spontaneum. Further evidence shows barley was grown in Egypt in 5,000 BCE, in Europe in 3,000 BCE and in China in 1,500 BCE.
The ancient grain quickly became a staple as animal feed before its contribution for the production of beer and spirits was realised, and then for human consumption in porridges and gruels and barley bread and biscuits.
EverGrain’s Compendium covers the ancient grain’s history, nutritional profile, health impacts, future opportunities and applications, authored by Dr Wendy Bazilian, a registered dietitian and American College of Sports Medicine-certified exercise physiologist.
Added Belt, “This report highlights the nutrient-rich history of this ingredient and how upcycling barley is such a critical opportunity to reshape the future of food. It’s an opportunity for brands to leverage the many benefits of barley in the stories they share with their consumers.”
EverGrain’s claims its EverPro – the world’s first upcycled barley protein – delivers best-in-class protein digestibility standards, with protein digestibility and absorption comparable to premium pea and whey protein, claims that were proven in vivo and in vitro studies this year (True Ileal (Nitrogen) Digestibility Trials, 2022). EverPro has 85% protein content and a complementary amino acid profile to pea protein that enables a PDCAAS of 1.0.
The St Louis, Missouri-based company also asserts that when compared to all proteins available at scale today, it also contains the highest amounts of glutamine when compared to whey, soy and pea protein, which is linked to reduced muscle fatigue and enhanced post-workout recovery.
“There’s a gap in the plant protein market right now: high protein typically comes at some environmental, nutritional, or financial cost,” said Belt.
“EverPro fills that gap, giving athletes and consumers more protein at lower cost to fuel their day. No compromises.”
Sustainable success story
The ingredient also comes with a compelling sustainability story. Thanks to a proprietary, Upcycled Certified and Non-GMO Project Verified process, the barley protein can help mitigate food waste and emissions, and delivers a lower carbon footprint and lower land and water use than other proteins available at scale today.
“Consumers deserve these kinds of products, that put taste, nutrition and sustainability first,” added Belt.
“They’re essential if we ever want plant-based products to truly be able to compete against market standards.”
Brands are already recognising this opportunity, and several innovations powered by barley are currently gearing up to launch.
EverGrain, too, has developed prototypes that focus on clean, high-protein beverages that push protein levels upwards of 25g while still providing a great taste.
“We can say all we want about how fantastic EverPro is, but tasting is believing,” said Rosa Sanchez, EverGrain’s senior global director of R&D Applications.
“Most of the time, when plant protein formulations hit those high protein inclusion levels, that means they’re packed with all kinds of undesirable ingredients to mask off-tastes. With EverPro, you don’t have to worry about that.”