• Home
  • Guides
  • Barley flour vs Semolina: Which Is Better?

Barley flour vs Semolina: Which Is Better?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between barley flour and semolina, foods from the grains food group. Read on to learn more about the barley flour vs semolina comparison.
Catherine Toledo, Journalist

Written by Catherine Toledo, Journalist. Updated on January 28, 2023.

Barley flour and semolina belong to the grains food group, one of the staple food groups for people on a plant-based diet.

Grains and grain products are an affordable source of carbohydrates, as well as essential vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins (such as thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin), iron, and zinc, minerals that are usually harder to get on a plant-based diet.

They also provide a small amount of protein and healthy fats.

However, it is important to note that whole grains are generally a better source of these nutrients than refined grains.

This article will thoroughly compare barley flour and semolina and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.

Barley flour

Barley flour (Hordeum vulgare) is made from ground barley, which is a type of cereal grain that is grown in many parts of the world.

It is a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fibers, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. It is also rich in antioxidants and protein, making it a valuable food for vegetarians and vegans.

Barley flour is commonly used in baking, particularly in traditional dishes such as bread and porridge. It has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor and can be used as a substitute for wheat flour in most recipes. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Barley flour is considered a functional food, as it has been shown to positively impact health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet. It is also a sustainable crop, as it can be grown in poor soil conditions and is resistant to pests and diseases.

Barley flour is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B3 (Niacin).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine) and some Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin E.


Semolina (Triticum durum) is a coarse, granular flour that is made from the hard durum wheat, a type of wheat that is high in gluten and protein.

It is a good source of carbohydrates, protein, and small amounts of minerals like iron and zinc. It is also rich in B vitamins such as niacin and thiamin.

Semolina is commonly used in the production of pasta and other traditional Italian dishes like couscous and gnocchi. It is also used in some breads, pastries, and other baked goods. It gives pasta a distinct texture and yellow color due to the presence of carotenoids in the wheat endosperm.

Semolina is gluten-rich, thus, it is not suitable for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. Semolina can be enjoyed in moderate portions as part of a balanced diet, combined with vegetables, lean protein sources, and healthy fats.

Semolina is not an excellent source of any particular vitamin.

However, it also contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

Barley flour vs Semolina Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing barley flour vs semolina.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of barley flour and semolina and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.

Barley flourSemolina
Energy345 kcal360 kcal
Carbs74.5 g72.8 g
Sugar0.8 g2.67 g
Fiber10.1 g3.9 g
Protein10.5 g12.7 g
Fat1.6 g1.05 g
Saturated Fat0.335 g0.15 g

Barley flour vs Semolina Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing barley flour vs semolina for weight loss, barley flour is slightly lower in calories, with 345 calories per 100 grams, compared to 360 calories per 100 grams of semolina.

However, both barley flour and semolina can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.

Barley flour vs Semolina Protein

Grains and most grain products, including barley flour and semolina, are important sources of plant-based protein.

However, it should be noted that most grains, with the exception of quinoa and buckwheat, for example, are low in lysine and methionine.

That said, you can combine grains with legumes to get a complete protein.

Semolina offers around 17% more protein than barley flour.

Semolina has 12.7 grams of protein per 100 grams, while barley flour has 10.5 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Barley flour vs Semolina Carbs

Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.

It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in barley flour and semolina.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 2% higher in barley flour than in semolina. It has 74.5 grams per 100 grams, compared to 72.8 grams in semolina.

There’s less sugar in barley flour than in semolina, 70% precisely.

That said, 100 grams of barley flour contains 0.8 grams of sugar, while the same amount of semolina contains 2.7 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in barley flour and semolina.

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

With 10.1 grams of fiber per 100 grams, barley flour is a better source of fiber than semolina which barley flour offers 3.9 grams per 100 gram portion.

Barley flour vs Semolina Fats

Like most other grains, barley flour and semolina are low in fat.

Fats in barley flour and semolina are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in barley flour and semolina:

  • Barley flour: 1.6 grams per 100 grams
  • Semolina: 1.1 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, semolina is 33% lower in saturated fats.

Semolina and barley flour contain 0.2 grams and 0.3 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Barley flour vs Semolina Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of barley flour and semolina.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.

Barley flour has a higher amount of vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and vitamin B9 (Folate).

However, semolina has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

Barley flour and semolina contain the same amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins barley flour and semolina contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

Barley flourSemolina
Vitamin A00
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.37 mg0.28 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.114 mg0.08 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)6.27 mg3.31 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.145 mg0.58 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.396 mg0.103 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)8 µg72 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.57 mg0.11 mg
Vitamin K2.2 µg0.1 µg

Barley flour vs Semolina Minerals Content

Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.

Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc, or iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the barley flour and semolina comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Barley flour is a better source of selenium than semolina.

On the other hand, semolina is a higher amount of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc.

Barley flour and semolina contain the same amount of fluoride.

Check out the table below to learn how barley flour and semolina compare when it comes to mineral content.

Barley flourSemolina
Calcium32 mg17 mg
Copper0.343 mg0.189 mg
Iron2.68 mg1.23 mg
Magnesium96 mg47 mg
Manganese1.03 mg0.619 mg
Phosphorus296 mg136 mg
Potassium309 mg186 mg
Selenium37.7 µg63.2 µg
Sodium4 mg1 mg
Zinc2 mg1.05 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between barley flour and semolina.

Grains, also known as cereal grains, are an important source of nutrition for many people around the world. They are a rich source of carbohydrates, which provide energy for the body.

Whole grains contain important vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and iron. Whole grains, in particular, are high in dietary fiber and can help with digestion and weight management.

They may also have other health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Grains are also a staple food and an important source of food security in many parts of the world.


Holy Peas has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals, associations and government institutions. Read more about our process.

How we ensure this article is accurate?
  1. It's written and or reviewed by an expert.
  2. We cite relevant studies and trusted sources.
  3. It's regularly updated.

Read more about our process and team.