What is your favorite snack? Is it cookies, pizza, or French fries? As far as America’s favorite snack is concerned, it is popcorn. If you’re an American, you will definitely agree with me.
But have you ever tried popping Sorghum? It tastes delicious.
Recently, researchers at Texas A&M University developed a new variety of Sorghum.
Now you might be wondering what is special about this variety. Well, it has an excellent yield. The best thing is that it offers superior popping quality.
Sorghum: A versatile crop
Sorghum is grown widely across the world. It is a versatile crop because
- It produces grain, syrup, or forage.
- It can be used for biofuel production. The efficiency of Sorghum for biofuel production is due efficient photosynthetic system and the production of enough biomass.
- Americans also used it as feed for their animals.
- Sorghum contains antioxidants, is gluten-free, and has no genetic modifications. Therefore, it can also be used as human food grain.
- It can also be popped. There are certain genotypes of Sorghum that produce spherical, white popped “endosperm” on heating, just like popcorn.
You might be considering popping Sorghum as a new concept. But it’s not so. Africans and Indians have been using it for a long time as human and animal feed.
However, there has been no sorghum hybrid with popping as the primary trait till now. Mitchell Kent, a team member at Texas A&M, made the first effort to develop a better-popped sorghum breed.
The research by Mitchell Kent was published in the Journal of Plant Registrations.
Here’re the reasons why popped Sorghum is preferable to kent:
- Kent says that the size of the popped kernel is smaller than the popped Sorghum. So, it can be ideal to use in products where we can’t use popcorn due to its larger size.
- The mild flavor of popped Sorghum makes it best to use as flavoring agent.
- It is more tender than popcorn.
- There’re no hulls in popped Sorghum.
- Popped Sorghum has more digestible protein and starch. Therefore, it is incredible for use in animal feed and flour-based products.
Hybrid Popped Sorghum
The team at Texas A&M has evaluated several sorghum pollinators lines and their hybrids to identify potential hybrids with high
- Expansion ratio: it means how much volume popped grains have
- Popping efficiency: How many sorghum kernels pop.
- Flakes size: how much size individual piece of popped Sorghum have. Flake size decides the tenderness of Sorghum. Larger flake sizes mean popped Sorghum will be more tender.
After the research, the team got agronomically adapted and high-yielding sorghum varieties. They named these hybrids Tx3489 and Tx3490.
The team’s next task was to focus on the agronomic qualities of these new hybrids. These agronomic qualities include yield in changing watering and weather conditions. After this, they analyzed the popping quality.
Additional research with the hope of getting better breeds of pop Sorghum is possible to be done. The group at Texas A&M sorghum Breeding lab hopes to evaluate new genotypes to find a better candidate for popping.
Moreover, their other goal is to develop a screening method. It is crucial to make the time-consuming method of analyzing many genotypes time efficient.