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Comparisons of β-Glucan Content of Barley and Oat

September 1997 Volume 74 Number 5
Pages 571 — 575
C. J. Lee , 1 R. D. Horsley , 2 , 3 F. A. Manthey , 2 and P. B. Schwarz 4

RR1 Box 170, Velva, ND 58790. Dept. of Plant Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58105. Corresponding author. E-mail address: horsley@badlands.nodak.edu Dept. of Cereal Science, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58105.

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Accepted April 30, 1997.

The cholesterol-lowering effect of cereal grains has been associated with the soluble fiber component of dietary fiber. β-Glucan is the major soluble fiber component of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and oat (Avena sativa L.). Much research has been conducted to determine the β-glucan content of barley and oat genotypes from many different countries. However, genotypes of both crops always were grown in separate experiments, making direct comparisons between the two crops difficult. This study compares in the same experiment the β-glucan content of nine barley and 10 oat genotypes grown at two locations in each of two years (i.e., four environments) in North Dakota. Averaged across genotypes, total β-glucan content of barley and oat groat was similar. Soluble β-glucan content of oat groat was greater than barley, and oat groat had a greater ratio of soluble-to-total β-glucan than barley. The soluble β-glucan content and ratio of soluble to total β-glucan content of the “best” barley genotypes were less than that of oat genotypes with the highest levels of these two traits.

© 1997 by the American Association of Cereal Chemists, Inc.