New Uses

New, Exciting Markets

The Sorghum Checkoff is supporting educational, promotional and research efforts focusing on food and industrial uses. 

The Sorghum Checkoff is working to enhance the usability of sorghum in industries that reach beyond the traditional markets. In the United States, Sorghum Checkoff-funded research opportunities are looking at sorghum’s potential to fight cancer, high cholesterol and obesity. At the same time, sorghum is high in antioxidants and is gluten-free, providing a versatile product for individuals living with Celiac disease, which is an intolerance to gluten, found in products like wheat, barley and rye.

The pet food industry already uses sorghum because of its low glycemic index, which helps to control diabetes in companion animals. Sorghum is used in florals, birdseed and deer feeders. Around the world, sorghum is already used for building materials like fencing, a plywood-like product and as a binder in wallboard.

The Sorghum Checkoff will continue working on behalf of sorghum producers to encourage new and exciting markets for this crop.

Green Chemicals

While there are currently no commercialized green chemical products made from sorghum on the market, research has proven sorghum can have tremendous potential in meeting demand for environmentally friendly products. By funding research and market development projects, the Sorghum Checkoff hopes to increase sorghum’s use in green chemicals and demand for U.S. sorghum.

By separating the various projects of the renewables program the Sorghum Checkoff can more efficiently fund and manage these projects. Through research and promotion of these renewables markets, the Sorghum Checkoff hopes to increase the demand for sorghum and profitability for sorghum producers.

Aquaculture

Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. agriculture industry and is rising in popularity globally in countries like China, which represents nearly 70 percent of global fish and shellfish production. With the expanding aquaculture industry, there is an accelerated interest in discovering plant-based dietary sources like sorghum. Sorghum has many applications in the aquaculture industry as dried distillers grains, sorghum mill feed, extruded and steam pellets and more. In fact, sorghum DDGs have demonstrated acceptable inclusion rates up to 30 percent in channel cat fish studies and up to 40 percent in shrimp feed studies. Sorghum grain has also demonstrated its ability to serve as an acceptable plant-based energy source due to high starch content and low anti-nutritoinal fiber levels. A current study is investigating microbial-based processes to increase protein content and digestibility of sorghum mill feed on yellow perch. Ongoing research is helping to discover sorghum as a cost-effective protein source for the aquaculture industry. Additional aquaculture research results and a Sorghum Checkoff Aquaculture Feeding Guide will be available in the future.

Utilization of Sorghum Ingredients and Co-Products in Aquatic Animal Feed Production

Sorghum Distillers Dried Grains as as Alternatice Protein Source in Diets of Channel Catfish

 

Other Uses

There are industries beginning to utilize sorghum, where it has not been used before. The growing list includes:

  • Insulation
  • Packing peanuts
  • Millers and bakers
  • Cat litter

Check out the Sorghum Connections Directory to connect with producers, manufacturers and users of sorghum.

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