Novel Food and Non-Food Uses for Sorghum and Millets

Gluten Free Bran Muffin

Sorghum and millets have considerable potential in foods and beverages. As they are gluten-free they are suitable for coeliacs. Sorghum is also a potentially important source of nutraceuticals such antioxidant phenolics and cholesterol-lowering waxes. Cakes,cookies, pasta, a parboiled rice-like product and snack foods have been successfully produced from sorghum and, in some cases, millets. Wheat-free sorghum or millet bread remains the main challenge. Additives such as native and pre-gelatinised starches, hydrocolloids, fat, egg and rye pentosans improve bread quality. However, specific volumes are lower than those for wheat bread or gluten-free breads based on pure starches, and in many cases, breads tend to stale faster. Lager and stout beers with sorghum are brewed commercially.Sorghum’s high-starch gelatinisation temperature and lowbeta-amylase activity remain problems with regard to complete substitution of barley malt with sorghum malt . The role of the sorghum endosperm matrix protein and cell wall components in limiting extract is are search focus. Brewing with millets is still at an experimental stage. Sorghum could be important for bioethanol and other bio-industrial products. Bioethanol research has focused on improving the economics of the process through cultivar selection, method development for low-quality grain and pre-processing to recover valuable by-products. Potential by-products such as the kafirin prolamin proteins and the pericarp wax have potential as bioplastic films and coatings for foods, primarily due to their hydrophobicity.

Read the full article here. (article by John R.N. Taylor, Tilman J. Schober, Scott R. Bean)