Early Warning System and Food Safety

The purchase of first class malting barley is a necessary condition for the production of high quality brewing malt. To ensure the quality of our goods, Holland Malt has set up an Early Warning System (EWS). In short, already at loading port, the malting barley is tested for quality, viz. protein, moisture, percentage living kernels. Additionally, at entrance, prior to discharge, our skilled maltsters examine the barley on physical defects such as split, red kernels and scent.

Subsequent to this an intensive laboratory test is performed corroborating the first results and extending it with a germination test and rapid mycotoxin analysis (ELISA) on each batch. These tests give good view on the malting performance. 

Food safety

The above mentioned system is all part of our HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) plan. To validate and verify the system we regularly perform extended analyses. Substances such as mycotoxins, residues of pesticides, heavy metals and nitrosamines are analysed by experienced and accredited external laboratories. Holland Malt runs this program since 1998.

Barley certification

In The Netherlands Holland Malt currently demands that all malting barley is planted and produced by certified growers. The aim of this certification is to ensure further food safety, prior to examination at the maltings. Barley growers are required to pay attention to topics such as fertilization, good agricultural practices to prevent formation of mycotoxins, the use of proper crop-protection products, hygienic circumstances for equipment and storage facilities, etc. Certification is performed by an independent company familiar with the grain business and the primary production of grains.


Selection and storage

The selection and storage of barley is a determinant of the quality of the malt we produce. To maximise the quality of our malt we monitor the crops at various stages: growth, harvest and after harvest.

  • In the growth stage attention is paid to weather conditions and additives applied by farmers such as fertilizers and crop-protection. This for instance serves to establish protein forecasts, sensitivity to diseases and a food safety outlook.  
  • During harvest suppliers in the various countries and regions are visited and samples taken. This is referred to as a ‘crop scan’ and provides a first picture on the quality of the crops harvested. Also after harvest, throughout the season, silos are visited and samples are being taken. Subsequent to each harvest, and as soon as possible, Holland Malt micro-malts barley samples from different origins. In this program, also new varieties supplied by the different partners are tested.
  • The Holland Malt Eemshaven maltings has a barley storage capacity of 60.000 tons. The harvest of the farmers is directly received from the fields and pre-cleaned and stored under own supervision. The flat store makes possible excellent ventilation of the barley, which ensures that the barley is conditioned to enable long-term storage. If necessary barley is dried back to enable prolonged storage.


On the basis of the results of recent years we can conclude that the continuous attention to safety issues pays off with respect to the quality of the delivered goods. Production of brewer’s malt requires excellent barley quality and health; a thought that is shared equally by our suppliers. We therefore can conclude that your excellent quality is in our capable hands.