Sorghum in foods: Functionality and potential in innovative products

Ali Khoddami, Valeria Messina, Komala Vadabalija Venkata, Asgar Farahnaky, Christopher L. Blanchard, Thomas H. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)
117 Downloads (Pure)


Sorghum grain is a staple food for about 500 million people in 30 countries in Africa and Asia. Despite this contribution to global food production, most of the world’s sorghum grain, and nearly all in Western countries, is used as animal feed. A combination of the increasingly important ability of sorghum crops to resist heat and drought, the limited history of the use of sorghum in Western foods, and the excellent functional properties of sorghum grain in healthy diets, suggests a greater focus on the development of new sorghum-based foods. An understanding of the structural and functional properties of sorghum grain to develop processes for production of new sorghum-based foods is required. In this review, we discuss the potential of sorghum in new food products, including sorghum grain composition, the functional properties of sorghum in foods, processing of sorghum-based products, the digestibility of sorghum protein and starch compared to other grains, and the health benefits of sorghum. In the potential for sorghum as a major ingredient in new foods, we suggest that the gluten-free status of sorghum is of relatively minor importance compared to the functionality of the slowly digested starch and the health benefits of the phenolic compounds present.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1170-1186
Number of pages17
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number9
Early online date06 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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