Barley Malt Syrup: A Rich And Flavorful Grain-Based Sweetener

Barley malt syrup comes from malted barley. Another name for malted barley is sprouted barley. Barley is an ancient grain that humans have consumed for thousands of years. Archaeologists believe that barley was one of the first grains that humans domesticated.

The process of mating barley has been around for millennia. To malt the grain, it is necessary to germinate it for a few days then expose it to heat to stop the growth. Malting converts the starches in the grain to sugars including glucose, maltose, and maltotriose. Along with barley malt syrup, barley malt is used to make various alcoholic beverages including beer and whiskey.

One theory about the origin of beer is that it was first made when barley was left outdoors in a bowl that filled up with rain causing the grain to germinate. The sun arrested the germination process and dried out the barley. Then more rain fell and the fermentation process started. The result would have been a primitive kind of beer.

Barley malt syrup flavor profile

Barley malt syrup tastes like a blend of rice syrup and molasses. It lacks the bitterness of dark molasses but can provide some of its caramel note combined with a distinctive nuttiness that is often described as malty. While the main aspect of its flavor profile is sweetness, it has a less concentrated sweetness than sugar. Barley malt syrup’s consistency is thick and sticky like molasses, so it has a similar mouthfeel.

Health benefits of barley malt syrup

Some people consider barley malt syrup to be a healthy sweetener. Its benefits are limited, but it does provide some nutritional attributes that you won’t get from refined white sugar. It contains:

  • Protein: Barley malt syrup is a source of protein, but it only provides a small amount.
  • Potassium: You can get a small portion of your daily recommended potassium from a serving of barley malt syrup.

The nutrients above and other properties of barley malt syrup enable it to treat or prevent health problems like:

  • Diabetes: Because it has a lower glycemic index than white sugar, barley malt syrup may be considered a healthier sweetener. The higher a sweetener’s glycemic index rating, the more quickly it will be absorbed and spike your blood sugar. The rate of absorption can affect your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • High blood pressure: The potassium in barley malt syrup may help to regulate your blood pressure.

Health concerns

Like any product containing sugar, barley malt syrup can cause tooth decay. Consuming too much of it will also increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Also important is the fact that barley malt syrup is not gluten-free, which means that it may cause health issues for people who suffer from celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

Common uses

Because of its unique flavor, barley malt syrup is sometimes added to bagel dough. It is an essential ingredient in New York Style Bagels, specifically. Use it as a substitute for molasses in gingerbread, carrot cake, and other similar baked goods.

You can also drizzle barley malt syrup onto ice cream the way you might use caramel or chocolate syrup. You can use it on pancakes in place of maple syrup. Add it to milk to make malted milk or use it in your chocolate-flavored baked goods to deepen their flavor.