Canadian Grain Commission
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Measuring barley kernel colour and size to predict end use malt quality

Conclusions and recommendations

The study found the three malting grades, as graded by a single inspector, gave a significant indication of final malting quality. The top grade, Special Select, showed the best quality. However, inconsistent storage conditions and source of samples, especially the Special Select samples, reduced the significance of correlations between grade and malt quality. A repeat of the study with greater attention to consistent supply and storage of samples would further support conclusions on the value of the Canadian Grain Commission grades in predicting malt quality. Samples from a second crop year with a different dominant degrading factor would be beneficial.

Machine-based tests, imaging and SKCS, showed some promise by explaining additional variability in malting quality than did malting barley grades. The potential increase in objectivity of the machine-based testing, versus possibly discrepancies among grain inspectors in determining grades visually, needs to be further investigated. The SKCS's measurement of variability in size among 300 kernels provided additional information on the processing potential, on the limited samples tested, therefore, supporting additional testing to verify this promising aspect of predicting end use quality of malting barley