Food and Nutritional Quality of Sorghum and Millet

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Principal Investigator(s):
L.W. Rooney

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Sorghum and millet grains grown locally and from various areas of the world were analyzed for physical, chemical, structural, and processing properties. Various food and feed products were prepared to test the quality of the different grain samples. It became apparent early in our program that the acquisition of good quality grain for value added processing is absolutely essential to produce acceptable food products from sorghum and millet. That is why we have pushed hard for new improved varieties with good processing quality even if grain yield is not significantly increased. In most cases, systems to produce the new varieties and deliver the grain to processors are lacking and are difficult to put in place.


1. Develop new food products from sorghum and millet using technology appropriate for use in less developed areas. 2. Determine physical, chemical and structural factors that affect the food and nutritional quality of sorghum; seek ways of modifying its properties or improving methods of processing. 3. Develop simple, practical laboratory methods for use in breeding programs to assess important grain quality characteristics. 4. Determine the factors that affect resistance to grain molds and field deterioration in sorghum and devise laboratory procedures to detect genotypes with resistance.


In Mali, an entrepreneur successfully produced N'Tenimissa, a white tan sorghum under identity preserved (IP) marketing procedures. The grain was used successfully by a large baking company to produce cookies.When the government subsidized wheat flour, the entrepreneur found an alternative profitable market for decorticated white sorghum. The urban consumers liked the ready-to-cook product with substantial sales to expatriate Malians. Value-enhanced white food sorghums developed in part by this project were promoted by the U.S. Grains Council in Japan and other countries for food processing. Value-enhanced white food sorghums have been used by the Japanese food industry to market snacks and several other products. Several mills are producing sorghum flour for niche mar- kets. The operations are small but produce sorghum flour and other products that have been made into foods for Celiacs. Two M.S. students completed their degree. Both joined the food industry.

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