Grain hardness in barley
Grain hardness is described as the resistance of the kernel to fracture or the extent of endosperm packing. In barley, it is a product of the complex interaction between compositional and structural endosperm components, including starch, protein and beta-glucan and the matrix formed between these components. Grain hardness may contribute significantly to barley quality. This research examined the relationship between grain hardness determination by milling energy, SKCS hardness, and endosperm light reflectance of eight Western Canadian feed and malting barley genotypes grown at multiple locations and the influence of protein and betaglucan on hardness. Genotypes differed in milling energy, SKCS hardness, and endosperm light reflectance with all three hardness methods ranking genotypes similarly. All three hardness methods were significantly correlated. McLeod, CDC Dolly and Valier genotypes were consistently harder while CDC Bold was consistently softest. Grain hardness was influenced by protein and beta-glucan content in this small sample set.
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