The Ministry of Agriculture is promoting a local food-based food diversification program. Roadshow activities for the introduction of local food have been carried out in a number of cities including Jakarta, Bogor, DIY, Bandung and Makassar. This movement aims to explore the potential of local food in meeting the nutritional needs of the community. One of the potential local food commodities that can be developed is sorghum. The mineral content of sorghum, especially the element Fe, is quite adequate, 4-5,5 mg/100g so that it can be added value as a food ingredient. The element Fe is the most important element for the formation of red blood cells. Iron is naturally obtained from food. If humans lack iron in the food they eat every day, it can cause nutritional anemia (lack of blood). One of the nutritional elements, including the lack of Fe minerals in the food consumed by children, especially those of growing age, will experience the term “stunting” (inhibited growth & development).
Besides being rich in iron, sorghum also has high basic nutritional components, not inferior to other cereals. The protein content of sorghum ranges from 10-13% depending on the variety and the land where it is grown. The uniqueness of sorghum is the presence of tannins and phytic acid which raises negative and positive controversies on health. The antioxidant properties of tannins are higher than vitamins E and C, as well as the anthocyanin antioxidants of sorghum are more stable. Functional food elements containing bioactive components provide multifunctional physiological effects for the body, including strengthening the immune system, regulating the rhythm of physical condition, slowing aging, and helping prevent degenerative diseases. This is an attraction in itself.
Simple processing that can be done, starting from sorghum seeds can be processed into intermediate products in the form of sorghum & flour. Furthermore, sosoh sorghum is processed into sorghum rice, sorghum porridge and the like, and flour can substitute for flour for various preparations (cookies, cakes, noodles, rerotian) depending on the substitution formula and physicochemical properties. For gluten-allergic consumers, they can consume flour-based preparations without wheat flour substitution, or from processed sorghum grains. The Agricultural Research and Development Agency has released several VUBs for food, which are an offer for users, functional food product observers can also look and even develop a variety of sorghum-based products.
Balitcereal is currently focusing on exploring the functional content of sorghum to support local functional food diversification. The content of Fe, polyphenols, phytic acid, antioxidant activity of several varieties of sorghum (VUB) specifically for food, ranging from semi-finished materials in the form of sorghum granules, flour to various finished products ready for consumption.