Baking expo offers promise for sorghum

Baking expo offers promise for sorghum

Sorghum in baking industry Gluten-free product International opportunities

The Sorghum Checkoff hosted a booth recently at the International Baking Industry Expo (IBIE) in Las Vegas, Nev., to promote sorghum as a whole grain, gluten-free solution for the commercial baking industry.

“Interest in sorghum here at IBIE has been phenomenal,” said Virgil Smail, Sorghum Checkoff executive director. “Producers don’t always recognize the magnitude of certain industries, and this is a huge opportunity for sorghum. We want to deliver a quality product that helps meet the needs of the wholesale bakers as well as the needs of the end-user.”

Smail, a past president of the American Institute of Baking, said the Sorghum Checkoff is working with ADM Company and other contacts in the baking and snack food industries to promote sorghum as a whole grain flour, which offers many health benefits.

ADM is working to produce sorghum flour in commercial quantities to make available to the American food industry. Because sorghum can be ground into gluten-free flour, it is especially useful to those with intolerance to gluten found in wheat flour. ADM promoted sorghum in their booth at IBIE by distributing cookies made with sorghum flour.

“Consumers are requesting products that are gluten-free, whole grain or an old world grain,” said Florentino Lopez, Sorghum Checkoff marketing director. “Judging by the interest generated at IBIE, that request is being heard. Sorghum can offer consumers a cost-competitive option for gluten-free, whole grain products.”

 Lopez said many companies, both domestic and international, are interested in learning more about sorghum and how it can be utilized in existing and new food products.

“There are still many questions to be answered and a lot of work has to be done in the sorghum food industry program,” Lopez said. “This could be a viable international and domestic opportunity for sorghum.”

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