Adaptation and Potential Uses of Sorghum and Pearl Millet in Alternative and Health Foods

Rai, K N and Gowda, C L L and Reddy, B V S and Sehgal, S (2008) Adaptation and Potential Uses of Sorghum and Pearl Millet in Alternative and Health Foods. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 7 (4). pp. 320-396. ISSN 1541-4337

PDF - Published Version
Download (300kB) | Preview


Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) are major warm-season cereals largely grown for grain production in the semi-arid tropical regions of Asia and Africa. Under rain-fed farming systems with little external inputs, their grain yield levels are often low(<1t /ha).However,improved hybrid cultivars, when grown under well-irrigated and well-fertilized conditions, have been reported to give 8-9 t/ha of grain yield in sorghum and 4-5 t/ha in summer-season pearl millet, indicating high grain yield potential of these crops and the place they deserve in commercial agriculture. Both crops are highly tolerant to drought and soil salinity and high air temperatures, which enhance their agro-ecological adaptation under increasing severity of these major abiotic production constraints and make them increasingly more relevant in view of climate change.Research shows that sorghum and pearl millet grains are nutritionally comparable or even superior to major cereals such as wheat and rice owing to higher levels of protein with more balanced amino acid profile, dietary energy, vitamins, several minerals (especially micro nutrients such as iron and zinc), insoluble dietary fiber leading to lower glycemic index, and phytochemicals with antioxidant properties. Technologies for various processing treatments, such as milling, malting, blanching, acid treatment,dry heating,and fermentation,which reduce anti nutritional factors and increase the digestibility and shelf life of various alternative food products such as unleavened flat bread (roti/chapati), porridges, noodles, bakery products, and extruded and weaning food products, have been developed and tested at the laboratory scale. These properties and technologies enhance the value of both crops for nutritional security of the undernourished vulnerable population and food-based health management of the elite class. Commercialization of these processing and food product development technologies through public and private partnerships can enhance the pace of large-scale adoption of these products and technologies. This should be supported by a demand-driven grain production, procurement, storage, and handling to ensure the consistency of high-quality grain supplies. The commercial viability would depend on the profitability for all involved in the value chain, from farmers to consumers, which may require policy support and a sustained campaign about the health, nutrition,and ecological sustainability benefits of sorghum and pearl millet.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Mandate crops > Millets > Pearl Millet
Mandate crops > Sorghum
Others > Food and Nutrition
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2014 03:15
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2014 03:15
Official URL:
Projects: Harvest- Plus Challenge Program
Funders: CGIAR, ICAR
Acknowledgement: Several papers on alternative uses of sorghum and pearl millet presented at a CFC-funded Expert Meeting and included in its proceedings proved useful in providing the background information for the preparation of this article.
View Statistics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item