A soluble dietary fiber, $\beta$-glucan, contained in oat and barley has nutritional benefits such as hypocholesterolemic effects and influences blood glucose regulation. The contents of $\beta$-glucan in both cereals range from 3 to 7% with the exception of a certain barley genotype which contains up to 16% $\beta$-glucan. $\beta$-Glucan is distributed mainly in the cell walls of endosperm and the distal (bran) portion of kernel. Various procedures have been developed for increasing the extraction yield of $\beta$-glucan. Oat gum prepared with weak alkali extractionand alcohol proecipitation following protein removal usually contains 80% $\beta$-glucan.The most commonly used method for $\beta$-glucan quantitiation is an enzymatic procedure combining lichenase plus $\beta$-glucosidase followed by measuring the amount of glucos released by glucose oxidase-peroxidase treatment. The increase in foam-and emulsion-stabilizing capacity of $\beta$-glucan is due to the increase in viscosity of the aqueous phase. Therefore, $\beta$-glucan shows great potentials as a thickener and a stabilizer.