Dr. Larry Butler at Purdue University has been working on the dwarf bird resistant sorghum which ECHO includes in our seedbank (EDN 32-6,7). In some parts of the world people roast sorghum, like is done with corn (roasting ears) in the United States. Larry cautions about consuming this variety fresh roasted. “The roasting would not detoxify the cyanogenic glycoside dhurrin, which seems to be responsible for its bird resistance. The levels of dhurrin are higher at the dough stage than in the mature grain. The conventional processing method (grinding and wetting and cooking) does eliminate the cyanide.” Dr. Butler adds that in both Kenya and India he “was told that if food supplies are scarce it is better to have a small amount of sorghum than maize, because one is more satisfied and can work longer on sorghum. I presume slower digestibility, is the reason.” This would assure a slow release of nutrients to the body over a longer period of time.
ECHO Staff 1994. A Caution About One Use of The Bird Resistant Grain Sorghum. ECHO Development Notes no. 46