Celiac.com 04/29/2016 - Efforts to develop gluten-free version of traditional grains like wheat have been underway for some time, with limited success.

Photo: CC--Allispossible.org.ukNow, scientists in Australia say they've developed the world's first World Health Organization-approved "gluten-free" barley.

Since barley is a key ingredient in traditional beers, you might imagine that the beer viewing world would be keenly interested in such a development, and you would be right.

Developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), the product, called Kebari barley, has already drawn interest from a number of commercial breweries. One German brewery, Radeberger, has already ordered 70 tons of the product.

Kebari is not genetically modified. Instead, it is the end product of "cross-breeding low gluten barley varieties," CSIRO told Reuters. While Kebari is not 100 percent gluten-free, it is bred to contain "10,000 times less gluten than traditional strains, or about 5 parts of gluten per million, well below the World Health Organization's (WHO) 20 parts per million for classification as a gluten-free grain," according to Reuters.

With gluten-free foods and beverages being of the world's fastest growing consumer trends, gluten-free barley could prove to be a very popular ingredient for making celiac-safe beers in the traditional European style.

"A true gluten-free barley variety is a true game changer; there is going to be a massive market for the product," Phin Ziebell, an agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank, told Reuters.

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