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Traditional Sorghum and Millet Food and Beverage Products and Their Technologies

Traditional sorghum and millet food and beverage products are still made and consumed by rural communities across Africa, the Indian subcontinent, in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, especially China. There is a great variety of such products, including gruels and porridges, flatbreads, steamed and rice products, nonalcoholic beverages, alcoholic beverages (beers, “wine,” and distilled spirits), snacks, and condiments. A common characteristic of many of the products is that their processing involves a mixed culture microbial fermentation. Very ingenious processing technologies have been developed to optimize product quality in respect of the unique physicochemical characteristics of sorghum and millet grains, for example, the absence of viscoelastic dough-forming gluten and the high gelatinization temperature of their starches. The manufacture of some products has been industrialized at large-scale, notably, opaque sorghum beer brewing in Southern Africa. This has resulted in the application of new technologies and changes in the nature of the products.


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