Sorghum: Obliging Alternative and Ancient Grain
Sorghum offers a number potential functional and health benefits. Sorghum grain composition and quality varies from white grain varieties, which have a bland flavor, to black, red, and brown grain varieties, which have an array of stronger flavors. It can be easily processed into food products using extrusion, steam-flaking, micronization, and other processes. Sorghum can also be substituted for wheat flour in a variety of gluten-free baked goods, and its neutral, sometimes sweet, flavor and light color make it easily adaptable to a variety of dishes. Because sorghum starch is digested more slowly and has a lower glycemic index, it lingers in the digestive tract longer than starches from other grain flours or flour substitutes. In addition, specialty sorghum varieties are relatively inexpensive sources of phenolic compounds and have favorable storage stability, drought tolerance, high grain yield, and anti-inflammatory properties. Both tannin and black sorghum varieties can be used to formulate functional foods that offer potential health benefits. Sorghum bran is not only a good source of dietary fiber but provides a number of unique nutritional components as well.