Food Science and Technology Project Topics

Nutritional Quality and Sensory Attributes of Amala From Fermented Sorghum and Plantain Flour

Nutritional Quality and Sensory Attributes of Amala From Fermented Sorghum and Plantain Flour

Nutritional Quality and Sensory Attributes of Amala From Fermented Sorghum and Plantain Flour

Chapter One

Aims and Objectives

The aims and objectives of the study are:

  • To produce the fermented sorghum and plantain flour
  • To determine the nutritional quality of fermented sorghum and plantain flour
  • To evaluate the sensory composition of the composite flour (sorghum and plantain flour)


 SORGHUM (Sorghum L. Moench)

            Sorghum (Sorghum L. Moench) also known as guinea corn in West Africa and locally called Okababa, Dawa, and Okili in Nigeria belongs to the tribe Andropogonae (FAO, 2005). It is the fifth most important cereal crop by acreage after wheat, rice, maize, and barley globally; it is cultivated on marginal, fragile drought-prone environments in the semi-arid tropics of Africa and Asia, and it is a crop genetically suited to hot and dry agro ecologies where it is difficult to grow other food grains (ICRISAT, 2004).  Sorghum has a fibrous root system that could penetrate up to 8 feet into the soil and that makes it one of the hardiest cereals.

Sorghum is one of the oldest known grains of Africa and India where it is commonly used in a variety of foods. From tonnage perspective, sorghum is the second most important cereal in Africa; its production has increased significantly over the past 40 years from 10 million metric tonnes to 26 million metric tonnes (FAO, 1998). Nigeria and Sudan produces about 63% of Africa’s total production (FAO, 2005).

Grain sorghum is the most commonly cultivated agronomic type of sorghum worldwide, and in Africa, it is a very important part of the diet which could be in the form of boiled porridge or gruel, unleavened bread, and rice-like products (Berenji and Dahlberg, 2004). Sorghum is one of the most important staples in the semi-arid tropics of Africa and Asia; it is the principal source of energy, protein, vitamins and minerals for millions of the poorest in these regions (FAO, 2005). However, human consumption is decreasing with enhanced socioeconomic status of population in general and easy availability of much preferred cereals in abundance and at affordable prices (Sheorain et al., 2000).

Sorghum is a global crop; it is known as kafferkoren, soedangrass, and suikergient in the Netherlands, mtatam, shallu or feterita in East Africa, kaoliang in China, durra in Egypt, chicken corn or guinea corn in the United Kingdom, milo in Middle East Africa, jola, jowa, cholam, bisinga or durra in India, kaffir corn in South Africa, sorgo, milo or sudangrass in USA and guinea corn, feterita, sorghum, or sorgho in West Africa (Dicko et al., 2006).

 Sorghum and Nutrition

Sorghum grain has 95 to 98% of the nutritional value of maize; vitamin content for corn and sorghum is similar but sorghum has a higher mineral content than maize (Balota, 2012). Sorghum grain has a lot of nutritional benefits due to its rich antioxidant properties (Green, 2012). It is higher in protein (11.5 to 16.5%) and calories than several other grains (Martin and MacMasters, 2000). One cup serving (100 g) of sorghum contain 143 g of carbohydrate and 326 calories most of which comes from carbohydrate, 12 g of dietary fibre, and would provide 47% of the recommended daily value for iron based on a 2,000 calorie intake (Thompson, 2010). 100 g (one cup serving) of sorghum contains 325 calories and has 10.8 mg of protein, 0 mg of sugar, 3.1 mg of fat, 6.0 mg of fibre and 0 mg of cholesterol. Sorghum contains the following vitamins and minerals: vitamins B1, B2 and B3, calcium (Ca), potassium (K), iron (Fe), phosphorous (P), and sodium (Na). 100 g (one cup serving) would provide 55% Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of phosphorus, 19% RDA of potassium, 47% RDA of iron, 5.4% RDA of calcium and 0.5% RDA of sodium.

Although, the grain is low in sodium, it has a large amount of iron and a 100 g serving would meet over 50% of the recommended intake of iron for men and 24% for women; this is more iron than that in equal amount of brown rice (Thompson, 2010). Protein is one of the major components of sorghum; the primary function of dietaryprotein is to satisfy the body’s need for nitrogen and essential amino acid (FAO, 2005). The average starch content of sorghum is 69.5% (Jambunathan and Subramanian, 2008), and the crude fat content is 3% which is higher than wheat and rice (FAO, 2005). It contains no cholesterol, and like all other grains, has a fairly good amount of carbohydrates that could meet a good deal of recommended daily intake (Thompson, 2010).

Sorghum strengthens the immune system, helps in the elimination of toxic waste from the body, increases endurance, assists in blood cell building, boost appetite, relieves diarrhoea, aids rapid recovery, stimulates cardio-vascular system, stimulates free flow of blood, and lowers cholesterol levels. Sorghum consumption reduces the risk of certain types of cancer in humans (Gomez-Cordoves et al., 2001; Yang  et al., 2009). The tannin content of sorghum especially, the brown grain could make it difficult for the human body to absorb other nutrients (Awika and Roonney, 2004), and this makes sorghum the grain of choice for those battling obesity.

In addition, sorghum helps to manage cholesterol; grain sorghum could be used as food ingredients or dietary supplement to control cholesterol levels in humans (Carr  et al., 2005), and the bran of the grain may also help protect against diabetes and insulin resistance (Farrar  et al., 2008). Sorghum is deficient in lysine, threonine and tryptophan, and the presence of some anti-nutritional factors such as tannins and phytate that interact with proteins, vitamins and minerals reduces the bio-availability of the grain (Ahmed  et al., 2006). However, malting, fermentation, and cooking are known to improve the protein digestibility of sorghum by reducing its tannin and phytate content (Okafor, 2001).

 Sorghum as raw material for industries

Sorghum is increasingly becoming the basis for a successful food and beverage industries in Nigeria. Industries in Nigeria use about 200,000 metric tonnes of sorghum annually; about a meager 5% of the total sorghum marketed is channeled to industries as raw material (Sanni et al., 2003). Sorghum flour has been incorporated in wheat flours at various levels to produce cakes, cookies and bread (Abdelghafor et al., 2011). The flour can be blended with other flours and can consist of up to 50% of the flour bread. Consumer acceptance trials in Nigeria of bread made with 0% sorghum flour was akin to 100% wheat flour bread (Aluko and Olugbemi, 2009; Olatunji et al., 2009).

A similar study conducted in Sudan reveals that bread made with composite flour of 70% wheat and 30% sorghum flour were accepted (FAO, 2005).Baking has no effect on proximate, fatty acid and amino composition of sorghum flour bread (Khalil  et al., 2004); bread made from wholly sorghum flour can be used as a gluten-free replacement for wheat, however, due to the lack of gluten, sorghum bread are generally unleavened (USDA and NRCS, 2006).

Sorghum offers great advantages in the brewing industries (Middleman, 2006), it provides extract at a lower cost than is available from malted barley and it is readily available (Ogbeide, 2011). It is increasingly being used as a substitute for more expensive and important raw material in the Nigerian brewing sector and most of the very successful breweries in the country use sorghum in beer production (Momoh, 2012); its grits are currently used as adjuncts in majority of breweries in Nigeria (Koleoso and Olatunji, 2002). The Federal ministry of science and Technology in conjunction with the Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIRO) has developed using 50% sorghum malt and 50% barley malt to produce beer; this invention have paved the way for the optimal utilization of sorghum in the brewing sector in the country (Oni, 2013). Again, sorghum malt is being used wholly or partly as a substitute for barley in the production of non- alcoholic malt drink in Nigeria (Eleke, 2011).

Sorghum can also be useful in the production of ethanol and other bio-industrial products such as bioplastic, especially, in dry areas where other crops cannot be easily grown (McLaren  et al., 2003). The cellulose content in sorghum stalk is as high as 48% of dry weight and these stalks can be used industrially to produce sorghum ply board that are much better and lighter than shaving ply board; by using stalks which are mere byproduct of sorghum in this way farmers can earn extra money, and the use of wood materials would also be reduced (Zou and Shi, 1999). Furthermore, sorghum pigments are used as dye in the textile industry, as natural colorant in the food industry, and in different fields in the beauty and medical industry (Guang and Guang, 2007).





Sorghum (Sorghum L. Moench) and Plantain (Musa spp) used in this research work were purchased from a local market in Owo, Ondo State. The Sorghum and Plantain were purchased wholesome, that is, it was free from rot and had no physical damage. The flour produced from Sorghum and Plantain was processed in food processing laboratory of Food Science and Technology. Equipment, chemicals (reagents) and other facilities used in the research work were obtained from the laboratory of Food Science and TechnologyDepartment, Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Owo, Ondo State.


  Preparation of sorghum flour

Sorghum flour was produced using the procedure described by Mohamed (2002) (Fig. 1). The sorghum grains (2 kg) were sorted to remove stones, dirt and other extraneous materials then the grains were dried. The dried grains were milled, sieved and packed in a seal lock cellophane bag until ready for used.




Table 4.1: Proximate properties of plantain and sorghum flour





From the results obtained above it can be concluded that both samples (plantain and sorghum flour) have an outstanding nutritional content, from the result obtained sorghum flour nutritional content is higher than plantain nutritional content in terms of protein and fat while plantain flour has higher carbohydrate and fibre content compared to plantain flour. Both samples have almost the same moisture content (plantain (4.00%) and sorghum (4.01)). In terms of sensory attributes sorghum was generally accepted this might be due to its color, although plantain flour has better taste, aroma, and texture. The microbial attributes shows that sorghum have higher growth than plantain, this can be due to its higher protein content.


            Based on the research findings above, it is therefore recommended that the production of both sorghum and plantain flour should be encouraged, both flours can be used interchangeably or to fortify other cereal based flour e.g maize with low protein value in order to enhance its nutritional attributes.


  • Abdelghafor, R.F., Mustafa, A.I., Ibrahim, A.M.H. and Krishnan, P.G. (2011). Quality of Bread composite flour of sorghum and hard winter wheat. Advance J. of Food Sci. and Technol. 3(1): 9 – 15.
  • Adeniji, T.A., Barimalaa, I.S. andAchinewhu, S.C. (2006). Evaluation of bunch          characteristics and flour yield potential in black Sigatoka resistant plantain and banana hybrids. Global Journal of Pure and Applied Science, 12, 41–43
  • Aderounmu, E.T. (2006). Effect of frying Temperature and Storage Conditions on the quality of Fried Cocoyam chips. A project report, University of Agriculture Abeokuta. 3p.
  • Adeyemi, I.A., Akanbi, C.T. andFasoro, O.O. (1991). Effect of soy fractions on. Afr. J. Food Agric. Nutr. Dev. 7(1):1-22.
  • Agbo, N.G., Soumanou, M. and Yao, K.A. (1996). Nouvelles techniques de conservation de la banane plantain en milieu rural avec de la matièrevégétale. Sciences des Aliments, 16(6): 607-621.
  • Ahmed, S., Mahgoub, S., and Babiker, B. (2006). Changes in Tannin and Cynide contents and diastic activity during germination and effects of traditional processing on cynide content of sorghum cultivars. Food Chemistry, 56: 159 – 162.
  • Akingbala, J.O. and Rooney, L.W. (2002) Variation in amylose content among sorghums. In: Rooney LW, Murty DS (Eds) Proceedings of the International Symposium on Sorghum Grain Quality, ICRISAT.
  • Akingbala, J.O., Oguntimein, G.B. andSobande, A.O. (1995). Physiochemical properties and acceptability of yam flour substituted with soy flour. Plant Foods Hum. Nutr. 48(1):73-80.