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Overall in Asia sorghum is primarily used for food comprising 66% of total utilization.
The rest is utilized for feed and industrial uses.In India, sorghum is mostly used both for food and feed.
Recently sorghum is also used in alcohol industry with the introduction of sweet sorghums.
In China, sorghum is used for food, feed, and in the brewing industry to make beer.
Utilization of sorghum grain and stalk in Asia
Sorghum grain is used for human consumption and as feed for animals.The plant stem and foliage are used for green chop, hay, silage, and pasture.In some areas the stem is used for hut making.The plant remains, after the sorghum heads are harvested, are used as fuel for cooking.
Roti (flat bread) making Sorghum porridgeSorghum is traditionally used for food products like roti (flat bread), bhakri (stiff roti), and porridge or gruel.
Making of cookies Sorghum cookies Plum Cake Sorghum flour mixed with wheat flour is used for making baking products like breads, cakes, muffins, cookies, and biscuits.
Pop sorghum There are sorghum types such as pop sorghum and sweet sorghum that are slightly roasted and eaten.
Transporting fodder sorghumSorghum is also used as fodder for livestock because of its:
Sorghum grain as poultry feed Sorghum grain is used as animal feed in the Americas, China and Australia. In India, when rainy season sorghum heads are affected by moulds, the grain is used as animal/poultry feed.
Forage SorghumSorghum is cultivated for forage mostly in north India and West Africa.Sorghum varieties and hybrids are available exclusively for forage purpose.
Chopping of forage sorghum
for animal feeding Forage sorghums are fed to animals as a green chop or hay (quickly dried sorghum for fodder).
Beer made from sorghum grainMalted sorghum is used for brewing beer in Ghana and Nigeria.Sorghum’s comparative advantage would be its low output price, especially in production regions of rainy season sorghum in India over that of existing raw material.
Bio-fuel is produced from sweet sorghum types.The stalks of sweet sorghums are used for ethanol production.Ethanol is blended with petrol to reduce the fuel costs.
Sorghum SyrupSweet sorghum is concentrated and sterilized to make natural syrup.The syrup is used in confectionery industry as a sweetener.The syrup also can be used instead of honey with breakfast foods.
Sorghum Syrup The juice extracted from sweet sorghum is cleansed of impurities and concentrated by evaporation in open pans into a clear, amber colored, mild flavored syrup.The syrup retains all of its natural sugars and other nutrients. It is 100 percent natural and contains no chemical additives of any kind.
Sweet sorghum juice can be concentrated to make jaggery using the same method of making jaggery from sugarcane.
The yield is 3 to 3.5 t/ha and is economical compared to sugarcane jaggery.
Sorghum is a principal source of energy, protein, vitamins and minerals for millions of the poorest people in the regions where it is cultivated.The protein content is nearly equal and is comparable to that of wheat and maize.Nutritionally, grain sorghum is comprised of 11.3% protein and 3.3% fat. Like other cereals, sorghum is predominantly starchy. The average starch content of sorghum ranges from 56 to 73 %. The chemical nature of the starch, is a factor that affects its digestibility.
Sorghum grain is relatively rich in iron and phosphorus.Sorghum and millets in general are rich sources of B-complex vitamins but do not contain vitamin A and C.
Red grained sorghumTannins most commonly found in red wine and tea, are found in sorghum grains particularly in red grained types.These tannins contain compounds called antioxidants. Antioxidants protect against cell damage, a major cause for diseases and aging.Sorghums with high levels of antioxidants are important sources for use in healthy foods.
Non-tannin sorghums may be healthier as well.The protein and starch in grain sorghum are more slowly digested than other cereals, and slower rates of digestibility are particularly beneficial for diabetics.Sorghum starch is gluten-free. This makes sorghum a good substitute for wheat flour to individuals who are unable to digest food made from wheat.
Sorghum Feed ValueSorghum has a very hard kernel. This makes it resistant to diseases and insect damage but requires processing to enhance its feeding efficiency.Sorghum is ground, cracked, steam flaked, or roasted. These processing techniques will enhance the nutritional value of sorghum by 12-14%.Sorghum grain is a very good feed provided the tannin content in the grain is taken care.Sorghum varieties and hybrids differ in palatability and nutritional value.However, with poor quality protein, the value of sorghum grain was only about 70% that of maize. The efficiency of utilization of sorghum for poultry is similar to maize or 10 to 15% lower, apparently depending on tannin content.Livestock feed manufacturers prefer white sorghums or low tannin pigmented sorghums.The tannin sorghums (red grained) when fed to livestock:
Sorghum ForageYoung sorghum plants contain poisonous chemical.When cattle, sheep and goats graze such green and growing sorghum crop may result in hydrocyanic acid (HCN) poisoning.Danger of HCN poisoning is greatest at immature stages of sorghum growth and decreases with maturity.HCN levels are most potent in:
With this, the Lesson 2 on Uses and Nutritional Value of Sorghum in this Module concludes.
Next, Lesson 3 in this Module is about growth of sorghum plant.
Select Lesson 3 from Module I contents