Food Science and Technology Project Topics

Physicochemical Characteristics of Kunu Produce From the Mixture of Sorghum and Millet

Physicochemical Characteristics of Kunu Produce From the Mixture of Sorghum and Millet

Physicochemical Characteristics of Kunu Produce From the Mixture of Sorghum and Millet

Chapter One

The Objective of the Study

Therefore, the aims and objectives of this study is to determine the physicochemical characteristics of kunu produced from the mixtures of sorghum and millet.




A cereal is any true grass cultivated for the edible components of its grain composed of the endosperm, germ and bran. Cereal grains are grown in greater quantities and provide more food energy worldwide than any other type of crop (Vogel, 2003). It can also be referred to as any plant of the grass family yielding an edible grain as sorghum, millet, corn, rice, rye, oats, wheat, barley, fonio, and triticale. Some plants are often referred to as cereals like buckwheat and quinoa are considered as pseudo cereals instead, since they are not grasses (Serna, 2010).

In their natural form i.e. whole grain, they are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, oils, and protein. When refined by the removal of the bran and germ, the remaining endosperm is mostly carbohydrate. In some developing nations, grain in the form of rice, wheat, millet, or maize constitutes a majority of daily sustenance. In developed nations, cereal consumption is moderate and varied but still substantial (Vogel, 2003.).

Nutritional Composition of Cereal

Some grains are deficient in the essential amino acid lysine. That is why many vegetarian cultures, in order to get a balanced diet, combine their diet of grains with legumes. Many legumes, on the other hand, are deficient in the essential amino acid methionine, which grains contain. Thus, a combination of legumes with grains forms a well-balanced diet for vegetarians. The amount of crude protein found in grain is measured as the grain crude protein concentration (Marasaset al., 2001).


Sorghum is a genus with many species and subspecies, and there are several types of sorghum, including grain sorghums, grass sorghums (for pasture and hay), sweet sorghums (for syrups), and Broomcorn (Carter et al., 2006).

Grain sorghum and maize are comparable in costs of production and in nutrition therefore, the growing environment is the largest determining factor for choosing which to grow. Grain sorghum requires less water than corn, so is likely to be grown as a replacement to corn and produce better yields than corn in hotter and drier areas, such as the Southern US, Africa, Central America and South Asia One study showed that when corn required over 30 inches of water, sorghum required less than 23 inches. However, in cooler areas corn is probably a better option for production, based on yield (U.S grain council, 2006)


It is believed that African slaves brought sorghum seeds with them to the US, and that is how it was introduced to what is now the number one sorghum growing country. And, although breeding has resulted in better nutritional value of sorghum and better flavor, earlier sorghums had higher tannin levels, which caused offensive flavor and was advantageously used as a deterrent to birds. These high-tannin sorghums are still grown where birds could cause significant losses (Wikipedia, 2006).

Uses of Sorghum

Human food: Sorghum is used for human nutrition all over the world globally, over half of all sorghum is used for human consumption (Maunder, 2006). It is a major crop for many poor farmers, especially in Africa, Central America, and South Asia. Grain sorghum is used for flours, porridges and side dishes, malted and distilled beverages, and specialty foods such as popped grain (Afris, 2006).

Feed: Sorghum is also considered to be a significant crop for animal feeds, and in the US this is the major use of the grain. Finely ground grains or high-tannin grains are less palatable to cattle (US Grain Council, 2006). Due to its hard and waxy covering, the grains need to be processed by cracking, rolling, or grinding. When processed the nutritional value of sorghum is comparable (but not equal) to maize (corn), so it requires supplementation of vitamin A (Carter et al., 2006).

Silage: Grain sorghum is also used for silage, but it is not as commonly used as the sweet sorghum for this purpose. Sweet sorghums have higher silage yield, but grain sorghums have higher nutrition due to the grains, therefore sweet sorghum farmers may plant soybeans along with sorghum to raise the nutritional value of the silage (Carter et al., 2006).

Other uses: Sorghum fibers are used in wallboard, fences, biodegradable packaging materials, and solvents. Dried stalks are used for cooking fuel, and dye can be extracted from the plant to color leather (National Sorghum Producer, 2006).

A more recent use of sorghum is for ethanol. By-products from ethanol production, such as sorghum-DDGS (distillers dried grains with soluble) are also finding a place in the market (US Grain Council, 2000).




Collection of Materials

Sorghum (Sorghum bicolour), Millet (Pennisetum glaucum),Ginger and other ingredients were obtained at Oja Oba market Owo. The materials obtained were taken to the food processing laboratory in the department of Food Science and Technology in Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Ondo State for preparation and processing kunu beverages which was later subjected to further analysis.

Preparation of Kunu-zaki

Kunun-zaki was produced as described by Akomaet al. (2002b) using millet and sorghum (fig. 3). The process involved cleaning and steeping in 1000 ml tap water for 24 h at 30-32°C containing sodium metabisulphite. The water was then decanted off and the grains (500g) washed with more tap water before wet milling with addition of spices (ginger and black pepper) plus 1000ml tap water and wet milled to form a wet paste and sieved with a very clean and white cloth. It was allowed to settle down and the filtrate was fermented for 24 hours, during which the slurry was allowed to settle and sediment. The supernatant liquid was decanted and the residue was mixed with water and divided into two. Half of the residue was boiled and the second half was poured into it to produce kunu-zaki. After this, adequate water was added to meet the satisfactory level of the consumer i.e., nottoo watery and not too thick. The kunu-zaki was sieved again in order to remove the soluble material. Sugar was added into it and ready for consumption.




Table 4.1: Physicochemical Properties of Kunu-zaki produced from Millets and Sorghum Flour Blend





It is obvious that kunu is one of the locally made beverages that people rushed to purchase not only for its low price but also of what it does in the body. Kunu is a very nutritious beverage that can supply most of the nutrient requirement by the body. Also from the analysis, it was seen that kunu from millet and sorghum gives the highest nourishment to the body; they are of more nutritive value and good source of energy because of their high amount of protein, normal total solid, moderate pH and acidity.They have high amount of protein which help in growth and repairtissues. The micro-organisms encountered in this study of indigenous fermented food drink (kunu) was as a result of contamination from one source or the other which include water, air, equipment or utensils used in processing, personal hygiene e.t.c. These bacteria are non-pathogenic and human commensals, hence they cannot transfer disease.


Since kunu drink has proven to be a healthy beverage compared to other soft drink such as coca cola, 7 ups and other carbonated drinks, it is therefore recommended that kunu drink should be consumed because of its nutritive value and more research should be carried out in order its increase health benefits in terms of nutrient and processing.


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