Sorghum healthy substitute for coffee, researchers say

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Researchers from the University of the Philippines – Los Banos (UPLB) found that sweet sorghum, a grain commonly used in the production of molasses, can be a healthier substitute to regular coffee beans.

In the study titled the “Acceptability, nutritional, and potential health values of sweet sorghum coffee substitute,” the researchers ran sampling tests by roasting the grain and brewing it at different temperatures.

They found that roasting the grains for 50 to 70 minutes at approximately 226 degrees Celsius and brewing them for three minutes produced the most acceptable sample, comparing the coffee’s taste and aroma to that of rice coffee.

Other coffee substitutes used in the Philippines are corn, ampalaya, and soy.


The stem of the sweet sorghum is usually used to produce molasses, and its leaves are used as food for animals.

The United States is the world’s leading exporter of the grain, accounting for almost 75 percent of the global trade.

In the Philippines, sweet sorghum has been utilized as a source of bio-fuel.

Although not popularly cultivated in the country, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), an India-based agricultural research organization, identified the North Luzon Super Region (Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, and Central Luzon) as a suitable location for sorghum cultivation.

The researchers also said that drinking sweet sorghum coffee may help in preventing neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and serious diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

“SSCS [Sweet Sorghum Coffee Substitute] could be a potential health and nutritious beverage as its powder contains carbohydrates, protein, essential fatty acids, dietary fiber, and is low in fat, particularly saturated fat. Moreover, the SSCS powder contains phytochemicals contributing to its high antioxidant activity. These findings suggest that consumption SSCS may help in preventing diseases in which free radical production plays a key role,” they said.

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