Swedish company Nutritech International has developed a range of health foods to showcase its new organic activated barley, which it claims has a beta-glucan content almost double that of the original raw material, as well as high levels of fatty acids.

Nutritech, which has offices throughout Europe, the UK and also a recently opened base in North America, is marketing the new product as a cheap way of boosting the health profile of a wide range of foods.

Aktiv Barley was launched in December and is manufactured through a patented process that increases the beta-glucan content by 94%, according to the company.

The fibre also forms a gelatinous medium creating a stable, steady release of nutrients, which include high levels of the antioxidant and oxygen scavenger super oxide dismutase. It also has a 5.6% omega-3 content and 4.6% omega 6 content within its micronutrient profile.

Previous research has suggested that consumption of barley is associated with lower cholesterol levels and reduction in risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease through its effect on glucose levels. Beta-glucan is also thought to impact the immune system.

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The company rejects the use of GM food or any chemical enhancers.