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Wheat vs. Barley: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Wheat is a cereal grain used for flour and bread; Barley is a grain used for animal feed, brewing, and health foods.
Wheat vs. Barley

Key Differences

Wheat, primarily used for human consumption in bread and pasta, is the most widely cultivated cereal worldwide. Barley, often used in animal feed and brewing, is adaptable to a wider range of climates.
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Nov 21, 2023
Wheat grains are generally milled into flour for various culinary uses. Barley is processed for malt in brewing, also serving as a nutritious whole grain in foods.
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Nov 21, 2023
Wheat has a higher gluten content, making it ideal for bread-making. Barley, lower in gluten, is often used in soups, stews, and barley water.
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Nov 21, 2023
Wheat varieties include durum, used in pasta, and bread wheat for baking. Barley has two main types: hulled and pearled, with distinct culinary uses.
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Wheat cultivation requires moderate climate conditions. Barley is more resilient, growing in harsher environments, making it a versatile crop.
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Comparison Chart

Primary Use

Flour and bread-making
Animal feed, brewing
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Gluten Content

Higher, suitable for baking
Lower, not ideal for bread
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Grain Type

Primarily one type used for human consumption
Two main types - hulled and pearled
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Cultivation

Prefers moderate climates
Adaptable to harsher environments
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Nutritional Content

Rich in carbohydrates and protein
High in fiber, vitamins, and minerals
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Wheat and Barley Definitions

Wheat

A cereal grain cultivated for food.
Wheat flour is essential for making bread.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Barley

The plant of the genus Hordeum.
Barley fields are common in temperate climates.
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Nov 16, 2023

Wheat

The plant of the genus Triticum.
The wheat fields were ready for harvest.
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Nov 16, 2023

Barley

A cereal grain used in brewing and as animal feed.
Barley is a key ingredient in beer production.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Wheat

A staple food used worldwide.
Wheat is a crucial ingredient in many global cuisines.
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Nov 16, 2023
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Barley

A versatile grain used in health foods.
Barley soup is both nutritious and filling.
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Nov 16, 2023

Wheat

The seed of the wheat plant, ground to make flour.
She bought a bag of whole wheat to grind at home.
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Nov 16, 2023

Barley

A grain used historically as a unit of measurement.
In ancient times, barley grains were used to measure weight.
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Wheat

Any of various annual cereal grasses of the genus Triticum of the Mediterranean region and southwest Asia, especially T. aestivum, widely cultivated in temperate regions in many varieties for its commercially important edible grain.
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Oct 19, 2023

Barley

An ancient grain, one of the first cultivated cereals.
Barley has been a staple food for millennia.
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Nov 16, 2023

Wheat

The grain of any of these grasses, ground to produce flour used in breads, pasta, and other foods.
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Oct 19, 2023

Barley

A grass in the genus Hordeum native to temperate regions, having flowers in terminal, often long-awned spikes and widely cultivated for its grain.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wheat

(countable) Any of several cereal grains, of the genus Triticum, that yields flour as used in bakery.
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Oct 19, 2023

Barley

The grain of H. vulgare or its varieties, used in malt production and as food for livestock and humans.
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Wheat

(uncountable) A light brown colour, like that of wheat.
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Oct 19, 2023

Barley

A cereal of the species Hordeum vulgare, or its grains, often used as food or to make beer and other malted drinks.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wheat

Wheaten, of a light brown colour, like that of wheat.
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Barley

(Singapore) seed of Job's tears Coix lacryma-jobi
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Wheat

A cereal grass (Triticum vulgare) and its grain, which furnishes a white flour for bread, and, next to rice, is the grain most largely used by the human race.
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Oct 19, 2023

Barley

A valuable grain, of the family of grasses, genus Hordeum, used for food, and for making malt, from which are prepared beer, ale, and whisky.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wheat

Annual or biennial grass having erect flower spikes and light brown grains
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Oct 19, 2023

Barley

A grain of barley
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Wheat

Grains of common wheat; sometimes cooked whole or cracked as cereal; usually ground into flour
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Oct 19, 2023

Barley

Cultivated since prehistoric times; grown for forage and grain
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Oct 19, 2023

Wheat

A symbol of agriculture and fertility.
Wheat sheaves are often used in harvest festival decorations.
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Nov 16, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is Wheat?

Wheat is a cereal grain used for making flour and bread.
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Nov 21, 2023

Can Wheat and Barley grow in the same climate?

Wheat prefers moderate climates, while Barley can grow in harsher conditions.
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Nov 21, 2023

Are Wheat and Barley gluten-free?

No, both contain gluten, with Wheat having a higher amount.
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Nov 21, 2023

What is Barley used for?

Barley is used in brewing, animal feed, and as a health food.
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How do Wheat and Barley differ nutritionally?

Wheat is rich in carbohydrates and protein; Barley is higher in fiber and vitamins.
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Nov 21, 2023

What types of Wheat are there?

Types include durum (for pasta) and bread wheat.
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Can people with gluten intolerance eat Wheat or Barley?

No, both should be avoided by those with gluten intolerance.
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Is Wheat or Barley better for brewing?

Barley, specifically malted Barley, is preferred for brewing.
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Nov 21, 2023

Is Wheat or Barley easier to grow?

Barley is generally more resilient and easier to grow in varied climates.
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How long have Wheat and Barley been cultivated?

Both have been cultivated for thousands of years, with Barley being one of the earliest.
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Nov 21, 2023

What are the main types of Barley?

Hulled and pearled are the two main types of Barley.
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Can Wheat be used as animal feed like Barley?

While possible, Wheat is less commonly used as animal feed compared to Barley.
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Nov 21, 2023

Are there health benefits to eating Barley?

Yes, Barley is high in fiber and can aid in digestion.
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Nov 21, 2023

Is Barley used in bread making?

Rarely, due to its lower gluten content compared to Wheat.
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Nov 21, 2023

Are there health benefits to eating Wheat?

Wheat provides essential nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
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Nov 21, 2023

How does the flavor of Wheat compare to Barley?

Wheat has a mild flavor, whereas Barley has a slightly nutty taste.
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Can Wheat and Barley be used interchangeably in cooking?

Not usually, due to differences in gluten content and texture.
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Nov 21, 2023

What dishes commonly use Wheat?

Wheat is used in bread, pasta, cakes, and pastries.
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Nov 21, 2023

What dishes commonly use Barley?

Barley is used in soups, stews, and as a side dish.
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Nov 21, 2023

How does the processing of Wheat and Barley differ?

Wheat is mainly milled into flour, while Barley is malted or pearled.
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Nov 21, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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