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Kansas State University Researchers Use Sorghum to Craft New Gluten-free Foods

Celiac.com 10/03/2012 - In an effort to expand the market for Kansas-grown sorghum, a professor at Kansas State University and a group of food science graduate students are conducting research into the use of sorghum in new gluten-free food products for people with celiac disease.

Photo: CC--agrilifetodayKansas is one of the top sorghum producers in the U.S. In 2006, as the manufacturing of gluten-free products started to take off, sorghum farmers began looking for alternative uses for their crop.

Fadi Aramouni, K-State professor of food science, said that quest triggered the university's research into sorghum as a gluten alternative. In America, sorghum has traditionally been used for animal feed, but the growing market for gluten-free foods, along with the availability of food-grade sorghum, is fueling the use of sorghum in these types of food products, he said.

Aramouni said the research initially focused on developing a sorghum-based tortilla. He and the students looked at the six varieties of sorghum grown in Kansas and determined which one they thought would work best. They considered factors such as grain hardness, protein, carbohydrate and fiber content, shelf life, dough quality, and flavor.

Right away, the research team ran into problems with milling, "because it turns out that the particle size during the milling will affect the properties of the sorghum flour," Armuni said. One problem is that sorghum tends to form a batter rather than a dough, so it is necessary to add eggs and other stabilizers, such as gums, to craft a suitable dough.

Using the facilities at Kansas State's grain and science industry department, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture laboratory in Manhattan, the research team has been able to create tortillas, breads, Belgian waffles and waffle cones from sorghum.

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Their research is largely funded by the Kansas Department of Agriculture, and includes comparing the glycemic index of their sorghum products to those made of wheat, corn and rice. The glycemic index measures how a given carbohydrate raises blood glucose.

In the last few years, the team's sorghum-based creations have won first prize in the American Association of Cereal Chemists competition.

using their new knowledge of sorghum, the researchers are now working to create gluten-free soft pretzels, sweet rolls and dinner rolls, vanilla-flavored Waffle Cones and Crunchums, a raspberry-jalapeno-flavored sorghum snack.

"This is not cooking. This is science," Aramouni said.

It is important science, he adds, because people who must eat gluten-free food need better, more nutritious products. What new gluten-free products would you like to see on the market? Share your comments below.

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4 Responses:

 
Peggy Detmers
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said this on
08 Oct 2012 8:24:44 AM PDT
I was a late diagnosed celiac, fighting the re-occurrence of a persistent colon cancer caught in its early stages - which WENT AWAY COMPLETELY after going gluten free. However, I still react to ALL monocotyledon grass family seeds like millet and sorghum with stomach pain and asthma. I do not react to dicotyledon plant (buckwheat, amaranth) products, and I read I am not alone. For some reason the grass family causes auto-immune reactions that dicotyledons do not.

 
Tine
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said this on
08 Oct 2012 11:54:24 PM PDT
I would like to eat products with 0 ppm gluten in it, because I get sick of most gluten-free products with higher amounts of gluten (below 20 ppm). I am very sensitive to small traces of wheat, barley etc.

 
Mary
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said this on
09 Oct 2012 6:27:51 AM PDT
I would like to see sorghum flour more widely available along with other gluten-free flours in bulk food stores here in NY. The only way I know to get it (aside from buying online but shipping makes that prohibitive) is from Bob's Red Mill. Sorghum flour is something I always look for but I'm constantly disappointed not to find it.

Perhaps it's available in Kansas. I recall seeing fields of sorghum growing in Kansas and my uncle pointing out that it was a major part of the diet for the cattle in his feedlot. Maybe that is why it is of particular interest to me. I think it tastes good and I like to add it to my flour mixes, particularly for pancakes.

 
Heddi
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said this on
15 Oct 2012 6:33:31 AM PDT
"It is important science, he adds, because people who must eat gluten-free food need better, more nutritious products." Yet only two of the products were what I would consider "healthy". I would eat the tortillas and the bread, maybe, but certainly not the waffles, ice cream cones, granola mix, sweet rolls, pretzels, dinner rolls... This is just a "science" to try to make the growing of a product more profitable. Which is fine. I just don't see the CONCERN FOR celiac/gluten sensitive PEOPLE. How about a whole grain sorghum pasta, or a sorghum food that doesn't contain sugar as the second ingredient, or a soup thickened with sorghum instead of wheat, or a whole grain sorghum crispy cracker!




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I use almond, and coconut a lot now my bakery used to use oat and almond blends. We never used rice, or starches as our goal was to keep it low glycemic. Now days we are transitioning to cut out oats. I started having....ok I omitted and gave in after being in denial a similar reaction to oats (10% of celiacs do if I recall) over a year ago. Anyway as for flour blends premade avoiding rice and grains try simple mills at https://www.simplemills.com/collections/all I have composed a huge list of various gluten-free goods here, even recently updated with grain free, and pizza section https://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/117090-gluten-free-food-alternatives-list/

Hello Everyone, New here and have joined because I couldn't find an answer to my question online. I was diagnosed after a long spell with anemia in 2015 and have been on the diet (and improving!) ever since. But I wonder whether how much rice I'm eating is very healthy. I have always liked to bake and it took awhile to find a flour mix I like (Cup 4 Cup - worth its weight in gold...), but a lot of gluten-free food subs in rice (white rice, brown rice, rice flour) plus I eat actual rice as a side dish. Is this too much? Keep in mind, I also eat salads like it's my job and love making vegetable soups too. Any advice on gluten-free foods (specifically flours) that don't fall back on rice as a substitute? I should add that I can't really get excited about quinoa, despite my best efforts. Thanks in advance.

I would say get retested, to be sure, do a gluten challenge with her where she eats gluten for 12 weeks, not much just a half slice of bread a day or a wheat cracker for the blood test and 2 weeks for the biopsy. You mentioned bumps, and dry patches...this might be DH from celiacs and if it is you can go to a dermatologist and they can test it. In some people with DH reactions to gluten, their intestines do not show much damage as most of the antibodies are directed elsewhere. In this case you would have your symptoms. Now Celiac is a autoimmune disease that commonly has other auto immune diseases associated with it. NOW if your daughter has the gene for it she could have another automimmune disease I am not very familiar with and someone else might be able to help you more on suggestions for testing. Now in my personal opinion it sounds like she was still getting into gluten when you said she was off of it. NOTE gluten is a tricky bugger, it is a protein smaller then a germ that can stick in cracks and scratches on all your utensils, food prep area, knifes, etc. As a flour it can hang in the air for hours and even be inhaled effecting some of us. It is present in a lot of things we do not consider, like makeup, playdough, shampoos, seasonings, sauces, even some dry wall spackles. Now if she is in a shared house hold with other kids and not everyone is on this diet she has likely been getting into gluten somewhere, like touching glutened surfaces the other kids touched after eating gluten foods then putting her hand in her mouth or on safe foods. Or just randomly eating gluten foods, note symptoms can last weeks and wane from how it is effecting you. It does not take much to trigger symptoms you might have to be more careful and move her to a whole foods only diet, and have a separate prep area, utensils, cooking zone for her if you wish to keep fixing separate meals for her vs the gluten family. I would suggest just changing the entire family over, anyway perhaps start with a separate fold out table, use freezer paper to line the prep area, a microwave, mini toaster oven, and some microwave cook ware like steamers, steam bags, etc. and using gloves to fix her meals. She will need her own condiment jars (crumbs in hte jars) and area for safe snacks. I would suggest getting her only gluten-free CERTIFIED FOODS for now. You can find some whole food healthy snacks at mygerbs.com, and a few other places. I will provide a link to gluten-free food list. PERHAPS you can change the entire family over....now days it is more like changing brands as everything you used to eat is available in a gluten-free brand. ALSO have a lot of dairy free options there. https://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/117090-gluten-free-food-alternatives-list/

Hi wondering if someone could help. my daughter has mildly raised TTG levels and the gliadine levels, she has one Coeliacs gene, but her biopsy came back negative. We have kept her off gluten (and low dairy) for nearly a year to see if her symptoms improved. They haven't. But I don't know if they are related to gluten specifically. Just wondering if anyone has other suggestions that may be going on with her. Her symptoms are: - Short stature, she's nearly 9 and my 6 year old boy is nearly bigger than her - bumps on back of her arms - urine leaking and occasional soiled pants, which could be from constipation she has at time's - sticking out stomach - dry patchy rashes on her face - joint pain sporadically - vomits every 6 weeks, but hasn't had gluten and seems to be no food connection - reoccurring thrush She had gluten last night at a party and was fine today. I'm a bit lost and not sure where else to turn. Thanks for any help.

We have gone gluten free, our whole house, as of a month ago. It was pretty seamless since I had been gluten-free for 5 months last year. I have found many good recipes, and my picky husband and one of my boys who is also a picky eater, even prefer many gluten-free recipes to the regular ones. My husband did see my point about the size of the gluten protein means nothing. Its a gluten protein period, that's what you are avoiding. It doesn't matter if its hiding in the scratch of your baking sheet and you can't see it. You can't see the wind, but it's still there. I hear you on the anemia. I've been anemic for several years, I just thought it as because I was getting a little older. Has your anemia gone away or do you still have problems with it?