Difference Between Barley, Malt and Grain

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Grain is a small and hard seed of a plant like wheat, millet and rice. They are botanically defined as the one seeded fruits belonging to the cereal class. Any food which is made from these cereal grains are known as grain products. Whole grains and refined grains are two big categories of grains. Whole grains are the ones which contain the entire grain kernel- bran, germ and endosperm. Oatmeal and brown rice are examples of whole grains.

Barley is one of the important cereal grains. Its nutty flavor is loved by many people. It looks like wheat berries. However, it is lighter in appearance than wheat berries. It is a very ancient cultivated grain.

It matures early and is a short season crop. It is cultivated in varied climatic conditions and also in varied land areas like irrigated or dry land. It is used in various ways, primarily as food and fodder. It is also used in the production of malt.


Malt refers to a grain which is sprouted and then dried by a method known as malting. It is generally made from barley; however, some other grains may also be used to prepare malt. It is usually used for brewing and distilling. The word malt has been derived from the Old English word meltan which means to melt.