Uncovering the power of barley for plant-based innovation

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32 min listen
AUTHOR: Stef Bottinelli

A million years ago, cooking and eating grains drove the growth of the human brain.   Later grains gave us agriculture – changing the planet, and creating civilisations. Today, barley is a major player across the global food industry but what does the future hold for this magic grain?

In this podcast we are joined by barley experts and enthusiasts EverGrain, an ingredients company supplying nutrient dense barley for plant-based products whilst delivering circularity in the food system. How can barley help formulators deliver higher protein and fibres to meet growing consumer demand? What unique role does barley play in supporting sustainability and circularity? Host Stefan Gates is joined by Greg Belt, CEO of EverGrain Ingredients, Jerek Theo Lovey, Co-founder & CEO of Take Two Foods and Professor Dr Elke Arendt, Senior Lecturer in the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences at the University College Cork as they explore the opportunities barley presents to deliver on growing consumer demands for plant based protein and sustainability.

Jerek Theo Lovey, Co-Founder & CEO at Take Two Foods

Jerek Theo Lovey is the Co-Founder & CEO of Take Two Foods, a company creating second chances for food, people, and the planet. Prior to Take Two, Jerek was the Founder & CEO of Pacific Superfood Snacks, a B Corp, which had a successful exit to Made In Nature in 2014. Jerek is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley (M.A., B.A.), where he also played NCAA D-1 Basketball.

Greg Belt, CEO, EverGrain Ingredients

Greg Belt is the Founder & CEO of EverGrain, which produces healthy and sustainable ingredients from barley in a circular way. Prior to his current role, Greg led AB InBev’s global sustainability program and the creation of their 2025 sustainability goals. Greg has over 20 years of experience in innovation and supply chain across large corporations and start-ups. Greg graduated from Allegheny College with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and has a master’s degree in Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis. Greg currently resides in St. Louis with his wife Katherine and three children, Henry, Owen, and Caroline.

Prof. Dr. Elke ArendtSenior Lecturer in the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences,University College Cork

Professor Arendt is a native of Stuttgart, Germany. She graduated as an Engineer of Food Technology at Hohenheim University and received her PhD from the same Institute. In 1993, she was appointed as a faculty member at UCC where she established an externally-funded research group, which was consistently supported by grants from National, EU and industry sources. In 2007, she was awarded a DSc from the National University of Ireland for her published work in the area of fermented foods. In 2016, she was appointed as Principal Investigator at the APC Microbiome Institute. In her research field, she was listed as one of the most highly cited researchers in world (Clarivate Analytics) and has a H-Index of 91 (Google Scholar). She lectures and carries out research in the areas of cereal, brewing and beverage science. Prof Arendt is currently the head of a group of 25 research staff and PhD students and has published over 450 full-length peer-reviewed research papers, six patents, and three books.

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