Barley Malt Syrup

Barley Malt Syrup is a natural sweetener that is dark brown in color, with a pleasant malty taste. It is about half as sweet as honey, probably similar to brown rice syrup. It is produced by cooking sprouted barley malt.

It contains some minerals and vitamins. It is a natural product and does not contain any chemicals. The enzymes that turn the carbohydrates to sugar occur naturally in the sprouted grains. It is reputed to have a lower glycemic index than table sugar (which is 65). 

It contains about 60% maltose (by dry weight) which has a high glycemic index of 105. However it is also a good source of soluble fiber, and this probably helps to reduce the glycemic index, which is probably in the range of about 40. It is useful as a treatment for constipation in infants and for treating irritable bowel syndrome.

Can be used like honey on bread or pancakes. It has a nice flavor and goes well in certain recipes. It is not quite as sweet as sugar so more is needed. Can also be used in home brewing.

High in maltose so should be taken in moderation. Although it has a lower glycemic index than sugar it is far less sweet. Consequently, if it is used as a sweetener, more will be needed, so care needs to be taken. Like all sugars it is harmful to teeth if taken to excess.

Safety Guideline:
There is no recommended daily limit on consumption. But taking into account it's use as a relief for constipation, it might be well to avoid excessive intake. After all too much of a good thing can be a bad thing!

Safety Guidelines:
The World Health Organization recommend no more than 50gm refined sugar per day (about 12 small teaspoons) for an average adult and are considering reducing this to 25gm. 

But taking into account it's use as a relief for constipation, it might be well to avoid excessive intake so perhaps 6 small teaspoons as a daily limit. After all too much of a good thing can be a bad thing! 

It is made from sprouted barley malt, which is dried then cooked. The resultant liquid is filtered and reduced down to the required consistency.

Sold As:
Sold as a syrup like molasses or honey. It is often used as an ingredient in beer so any store specializing in wine or beer making is likely to sell it.

How Expensive?
It is expensive. On the bulk market it is 7
 times the price of sugar by weight. And it is only half as sweet as sugar. It can be bought on Amazon for about $5 per pound.

Market Share:
Tiny market share. Most of this probably for home brewing.

Interesting facts:
Care needs to be taken to ensure a genuine article. Some products have been fraudulently labeled as barley malt syrup when in fact they were mostly High Fructose Corn Syrup with flavoring added.

Does not require approval.


Conclusions for Barley Malt Syrup

It is a natural product, and is not refined in any way. It is useful in cooking and in certain recipes. It is a reasonably good source of some minerals and vitamins. It contains almost no fructose or sucrose, and must consequently be regarded as safer than high fructose corn syrup or ordinary sugar. It is not suitable for diabetics and care needs to be taken to avoid excessive consumption. It should be used instead of, not in addition to ordinary sugar.

Name Calories / Gram Sweetness Index Glycemic Index Calories / Spoon-Equiv
Barley Malt Syrup 4 0.5 45 30

Taste: -------- Good
Aftertaste: ---- No.
Concerns: ----- Some.

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