Cereals & Grains Association
Log In

Sorghum and quinoa: health benefits and implications for future research
T. SIMNADIS (1), L. Tapsell (2), E. Beck (2) (1) University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia; (2) University of Wollongong, , Australia.

Recent consumer trends have centred on gluten-free foods. This has provided commercial impetus to develop foods from gluten-free commodities with unique and/or novel properties. Examples include sorghum and quinoa, which despite being gluten-free, have had markedly different uptake within the food supply. The objective of this analysis was to explore and assess the evidence for health benefits associated with the consumption of sorghum and quinoa. Systematic reviews of health outcomes associated with the consumption of these commodities were performed. Studies investigating sorghum consumption in human cohorts were critically appraised using the Health Canada Quality Rating Tool. In contrast, the paucity of studies investigating quinoa consumption among humans culminated in a systematic review of animal studies investigating quinoa consumption to be performed. Quality appraisal was guided through the use of a previously validated quality-rating tool. The consumption of sorghum appeared to attenuate blood glucose responses and reduce the expression of markers of oxidative stress, which has implications for chronic disease management. Animals consuming quinoa appeared to experience decreased weight gain and an improvement in their lipid profile. It is however difficult to extrapolate these results beyond these animal studies into human cohorts. The broad implications are that these commodities may have properties superior to other staple grains. Future research should extend the current findings and explore the impact of processing on the maintenance of these health outcomes. In addition, more rigorously designed human studies are necessary to obtain a robust understanding of the health benefits. This could then be used to support the development of novel products from sorghum, which is currently underutilised, and quinoa, which continues to experience consumer demand.

View Presentation