Using the specific interaction of β-glucan with calcofluor dye as a detection method for size-exclusion chromatographic analysis, very simple direct extractions can be used for sample preparation. Either fluorescence or UV detection is employed. The calibration graphs are linear between 200 and 20 mg/l, although much more sensitive analyses are possible. The response remained independent of relative molecular mass in the range studied (1.7·106-1.85·105). Results for barley and malt show good correlation with those obtained by flow- injection analysis using calcofluor.