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Providing for those in need by Michelle Hochstein


s an excellent source of nutrition, sorghum has proven its worth as a source of food aid and is the second largest utilized grain in foreign countries

suff ering from food insecurities. In 2010, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture

Organization estimated 925 million people worldwide are undernourished, of whom 88 percent live in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Pregnant and lactating women and children under the age of two are among the most vulnerable groups at risk of undernourishment. Since September 2009, more than 22 million bushels of

sorghum have been utilized for food aid. A majority of the sorghum is sent to Africa, feeding villages in Chad, Ethio- pia, Kenya, Madagascar, Somalia, Sudan and Zimbabwe. Packed with proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins

and minerals, sorghum performs well as a blended food ingredient. Researchers at Kansas State University realized

this and are currently working to develop novel, ex- truded, high-protein, sorghum-based micronutrient fortified blended foods that can be used for nutri- tional aid programs for infants and young children in Tanzania as a part of the USDA Foreign Agricultural


Service Micronutrient Fortified Food Aid Products Pilot (MFFAPP) program. Project Director Sajid Alavi, Ph.D., a professor in the

Department of Grain Science and Industry at KSU, said one of the fortifi ed foods, a sorghum and cowpea blend or porridge mix, is a complete food for infants.

“Sorghum is an important

carrier for micronutrients and a great source for calories.”

“ “Sorghum is an important carrier for micronutrients

and a great source for calories, and the cowpeas supply a substantial amount of protein,” he said. “T e goal is to reach 18 grams of protein per 100 grams of product, which is the recommended value by USDA.” According to the U.S. Agency for Internation- al Development data, 25-33 percent of U.S. food aid

SORGHUM Grower Fall 2015

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