Changes in quality of whole cooked sorghum {Sorghum bicolor (l) Moench} using precooking methods



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Four sorghum cultivars (white, sumac, high tannin and black) differing in kernel characteristics were evaluated for cooking quality using whole, cracked and decorticated kernels. Whole grain had longer minimum cooking time (MCT) and lower water uptake. MCT ranged from 20 to 55 min for all varieties. Soluble solid loses (SSL) were lower than for cracked grain (1.0 to 1.5%). Formation of a gruel-like texture, darker pericarp color, splitting and agglomeration of kernels occurred especially for white grain. Cracked sorghum had shorter MCT (8.8. to 17.5 min) but produced higher SSL (1.3 to 2.9%). Changes in color and appearance due to leaching of pigments especially for the sorghums with a pigmented testa occurred. Utilization of decorticated kernels reduced MCT (11 to 25.3 min), but nutritional value is affected with the removal of the pericarp, plus the SSL (0.5 to 0.7%) produced during cooking. The long grain rice types have comparatively lower values in terms of MCT (22 min) than whole sorghum and SSL are similar to values obtained for cracked grain (1.7 to 2.2%) showing a minimum of splitting. Short and medium rice grain shows relatively long cooking time (30 to 35 min) but no longer than cracked or decorticated sorghum and produced higher SSL (28% to 40%) during processing, showing extensive disintegration. When sorghum was precooked; cooking quality improved. The combination of dry heat and microwave reduced MCT and SSL from 31 to 49% and 6.6 to 41.3%, respectively for all varieties compared to the control. This treatment produced grain with softer texture, increased dietary fiber and higher antioxidant activity retention (67.8%) for the tannin varieties than the control (22.7%). Evaluations of cooking quality of whole sorghum and the application of precooking process have more applications than just preparation of rice-like products. Whole boiled sorghum could be used in the elaboration of nutraceutical foods like an ingredient for yogurts, desserts or side dishes like exotic salads with other cereals. The inclusion of whole boiled sorghum as an ingredient in foods is promising with excellent potential health benefits.