Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Red Sorghum

Scientific name: 
Sorghum bicolor 

Sorghum is an ancient species of grasses within the genus Sorghum (red sorghum is one of its varieties). This plant is used for grain, fiber, fodder and in the production of alcoholic beverages.

This crop is an important and common ingredient in African, Central American and South Asian dishes, and is known as the "fifth most important cereal crop grown in the world”.

It can be cooked into popped corn. The grains may be pressed to produce oil or starch, or fermented to produce beer.

It is cultivated in the warmer regions of the world, and is tolerant of drought and heat. Here in the Philippines, sorghum (red) is primarily used as an inexpensive feed for livestock.

Nutritional Value 
One cup of red sorghum flour contains: 
437 calories
4g fat
94g carbohydrates
9.5g protein 

Health Benefits 
Studies prove that red sorghum greatly benefits the health through antioxidant activity. Missionaries have observed that tribes in Africa which maintained the traditional African diet were FREE FROM CANCER. It is gluten-free, and is comparatively less expensive than other gluten-free flour mixes.

Benefits have also been observed in the control of sickle-cell anemia, hypertension, heart disease, arthritis and rheumatism.

Chemical composition
Phenolic acids (free acids)
protocatechuic (43)
vannilic (7.7)
caffeic (4.1)
cinnamic (10.7)
ferulic (8.9) 

red varieties have higher levels of flavan-4-ols 

Condensed tannins 

Related Studies 
According to a study by Knudson et al., red sorghum has very high polyphenol content. It is also rich in protein and starch, low in fat. Cooking had no effect in the protein and amino acid composition.

A study by Dykes and Rooney (2006) concludes that:
“Sorghum contains large quantities of phenolics and other compounds… to prevent deterioration of health. Of all the cereals, sorghum has the potential to be bred specifically to produce high levels of different phenols ...”


Cespedes, A. (2010 November 26). Sorghum flour nutrition. Retrieved September 11, 2011 from

Commercial sorghum. Retrieved September 11, 2011 from

Dykes and Rooney (Texas, June 2006). Sorghum and millet phenols and antioxidants. Retrieved September 11, 2011 from

Knudsen et al. (Denmark, July 1987). Carbohydrate Composition and Nutritional Quality for Rats of Sorghum To Prepared from Decorticated White and Whole Grain Red Flour. Retrieved September 11, 2011 from

Sorghum and millet in African nutrition. Retrieved September 11, 2011 from

Sorghum production practices. Retrieved September 11, 2011 from
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