Advances in Agrotechnology
Relevance of starch content and the activities of amylases in sorghum food processing in West Africa
*Eddie Appel Bosch, Karel Johan Halen and Van Hari O. Ruud
Laboratory of Biochemistry, Department of Agrotechnology and Food Sciences, Wageningen University, PO Box 8128, 6700 ET Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Accepted 17 October, 2017
Sorghum is a staple food grain in many semi-arid and tropic areas of the world, notably in Sub-Saharan Africa because of its good adaptation to hard environments and its good yield of production. Among important biochemical components for sorghum processing are levels of starch (amylose and amylopectin) and starch depolymerizing enzymes. Current research focus on identifying varieties meeting specific agricultural and food requirements from the great biodiversity of sorghums to insure food security. Results show that some sorghums are rich sources of micronutrients (minerals and vitamins) and macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fat) . Sorghum has a resistant starch, which makes it interesting for obese and diabetic people. In addition, sorghum may be an alternative food for people who are allergic to gluten. Malts of some sorghum varieties display a-amylase and ß-amylase activities comparable to those of barley, making them useful for various agro-industrial foods. The feature of sorghum as a food in developing as well as in developed countries is discussed. A particular emphasis is made on the impact of starch and starch degrading enzymes in the use of sorghum for some African foods, e.g. “tô”, thin porridges for infants, granulated foods “couscous”, local beer “dolo”, as well agro-industrial foods such as lager beer and bread.
Key words: sorghum, a-amylase, b-amylase, starch, infant porridge, beer, couscous, dolo, tô, bread.
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