Wheat Vs Barley

Barley and wheat are two types of plants that are grown for food purposes. Its use has been fundamental since ancient times in view of its great nutritional virtues for human nutrition, since it provides a large amount of vitamins and minerals to the body.

They are morphologically very similar herbs, but they differ from each other in terms of nutritional contributions and use for different types of food. In this article we will present the main differences between these two plants based on their brief definitions.

Main difference between Wheat and Barley

Cereals are taken as an important part of the human diet throughout the world, with their easy storage and presence of carbohydrates they are produced throughout the world. Cereals are also the staple food, and they have many products underneath, depending on what you decide to eat. In reality, cereals are the herb that is grown for its edible components. Wheat and barley are two types of cereals that are consumed exclusively around the world, they are also considered staple foods. Both cereals belong to a similar order, family and tribe and that is why people often get confused between them. The most notable difference between these crops is that wheat is a cereal of the genus Triticum and barley is a crop of the genus Hordeum.

Difference between Wheat and Barley Comparative chart

Wheat Barley
Wheat is a crop of the genus Triticum. Barley is a crop of the genus Hordeum.
Scientific name
Triticum aestivum Hordeum vulgare
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae and Order: Poales

Family: Poaceae and subfamily: Pooideae

Tribe: Triticeae and Genus: Triticuma

Kingdom: Plantae and Order: Poales

Family: Poaceae and subfamily: Pooideae

Tribe: Triticeae and Genus: Hordeum

Use
Wheat is used to make cookies, breads, biscuits, pasta, noodles, Chappati, and other breakfast cereals. Barley is used as one of the basic ingredients used for the formation of beer and other alcoholic beverages and is also used mainly as fodder for livestock.
Harvested
Wheat is harvested in the summer months. Barley is harvested in the warmest season.

What is wheat?

Wheat, whose scientific name is -Triticum Sativum Lam- , is a cereal of the grass family. It is a plant that produces a seed that is widely used for human consumption due to its numerous nutritional properties. Its branches can grow up to 3 meters high, have a hollow stem and produce a spike-shaped inflorescence, where the grain is produced.

Wheat consumption is made up of 75% by the production of wheat flour, used to make bread , a smaller percentage is used for the production of gluten, dextrose and other industrial products. It is a plant very rich in iron and vitamin E, it also contains selenium, potassium and phosphorus, which are very good minerals to eliminate toxins from the blood.

The wheat grain consists of several parts such as the protective layer known as bran, very rich in protein and fiber that is used to make bread, cookies and whole foods. The inner layers that are the testa, the endosperm and the germ are the most used part of the wheat grain, since it is refined for the elaboration of various types of flour for human consumption.

Although barley and wheat are plants that belong to the same family, it can be seen that there are differences between them, so their use is also different.

Wheat is a type of cereal that was grown mainly in the Levante region, but is now grown all over the world. It is one of the most produced cereals in the world after corn and rice. A few years ago, rice was the second most produced cereal after corn, but the increase in rice production made it move to the third most produced cereal grain. Wheat is also considered one of the staple foods because it is the main source of plant protein in the human diet. It has higher proteins than the other cereals of majority production such as corn and rice. When it comes to the human use of crops as food, wheat is the second most consumed cereal after rice. Some of the famous types of wheat that are harvested are hard red wheat, soft red wheat, and durum wheat. Wheat thrives best in cool weather and when ready to harvest it turns brown or golden. For cooking or baking, wheat is heated. In hot form or as a flour, wheat is used to make cookies, breads, biscuits, pasta, noodles, Chappati, and other breakfast cereals. Wheat is an important source of vitamins, proteins and minerals and therefore is a staple food.

What is barley?

Barley, whose scientific name is -Hordeum vulgare- is a cereal (grass or herbaceous plants that produce essential grains for human and animal nutrition) belonging to the botanical family of proaceae plants.

The barley plant can grow up to 110 centimeters in height. There are many varieties of barley , however, all have the physical characteristic of the presence of a hollow stem in the form of a cane and the inflorescence (which is the arrangement of the flowers on the stem) in the form of a spike, where the grains are formed, which is the edible part of the plant.

Among the most widely consumed types of barley are two-row barley or also called malting barley, which is used to make alcoholic beverages and malts . Next, six-row or equine barley, which is used as cattle and horse feed, protected-seed barley, which is used for animal feed, and bare-seed barley, which is used for human consumption in the preparation of pasta, bread, and combined processed cereals.

Barley is a type of cereal grain that is taken as a purchase cereal and is also mainly used as fodder for livestock. Apart from that, the most prominent use of barley is that it is used as one of the basic ingredients used for the formation of beer and other alcoholic beverages. Barley has a stronger flavor than wheat, which is why it is preferred over the latter when it comes to using it as a main ingredient for use in alcoholic beverages. It has a lower protein content compared to wheat and has a higher fiber content than wheat. Barley does not need to be ground for cooking or baking like wheat, it can be easily cooked like rice. It is highly recommended for those who suffer from lower bad cholesterol (LDL) or for those who want to lose weight. Other than that,

Key differences

  1. Wheat is a cereal of the genus Triticum and barley is a crop of the genus Hordeum.
  2. In hot form or as a flour, wheat is used to make cookies, breads, biscuits, pasta, noodles, Chappati, and other breakfast cereals, while barley is used as one of the basic ingredients for brewing beer and other Alcoholic beverages It is also used largely as fodder for livestock.
  3. Barley does not need to be ground for cooking or baking like wheat, it can be easily cooked like rice.
  4. Barley has a lower protein content compared to wheat and has a higher fiber content than wheat.
  5. Barley is harvested in the warmer season, on the other hand, wheat thrives in the colder seasons.

Below we present a table with the description of some characteristics that indicate the most important differences between barley and wheat :

Barley Wheat
The stem of barley can grow up to 110 centimeters in height. The stem of wheat can grow up to 3 meters high.
The grain of barley is small and rounded. The grain of wheat is large and elongated.
Barley is mainly used for malting. Wheat is mainly used for making flour.

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