Swedish company NutriTech is hoping to stake barley's claims to superfood status with a range of products featuring a specially processed form of the grain.

The Aktiv Everyday range includes a chocolate-covered energy bar and a meal replacement drink. The latter will be available in selected Waitrose stores from the beginning of the new year.

The company said the bars' barley content was processed using a patented Aktivated Barley method, which gave it a higher proportion of superior soluble fibre beta-glucans, as well as making it prebiotic, rich in enzymes, essential amino acids, and Omega-3 and 6.

It is also said to boost the immune system, to lower cholesterol and aid weight loss by keeping blood sugar levels even.

"The range is a step forward in the battle against heart disease and also promotes weight management through its high fibre content, which lowers energy density and prolongs satiety," said UK manager Dan Barron.