Swedish company Nutritech International has developed a range of health foods to showcase its new organic activated barley, which has a beta-glucan content almost double that of the original raw material, as well as high levels of fatty acids.
Nutritech, which has offices throughout Europe, the UK and also a recently opened base in North America, is marketing the new product as a cheap way of boosting the health profile of a wide range of foods.
Aktiv Barley was launched in December and is manufactured through a patented process that increases the beta-glucan content by 94 per cent, according to the company.
The fibre also forms a gelatinous medium creating a stable, steady release of nutrients, which include high levels of the antioxidant and oxygen scavenger super oxide dismutase. It also has a 5.6 per cent omega-3 content and 4.6 per cent omega 6 content within its micronutrient profile.
Ruzdi Ekenheim, CEO of Nutritech International told NutraIngredients.com: "We are unique in the marketplace in the sense that the company is first to produce such a product. We reject the use of GM food or any chemical enhancers."
Previous research has suggested that consumption of barley is associated with lower cholesterol levels and reduction in risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease through its effect on glucose levels. Beta-glucan is also thought to impact the immune system.
Ekenheim added: "As well as all the health benefits this product contains we have taken steps to ensure the taste does not suffer. We have had much positive feedback on our products such as the powder drink which can usually taste quite unpleasant."
The company will display original and flavoured ready mix powders, meal replacements and nutritional granola bars containing the ingredient at Vitafoods in May.
Nutritech produces a range of health products including Nutricalm, a nurtitional supplement designed to strengthen the immune system and accelerate the healing processes in the body.