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  • Author or Editor: N. Ng x
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Sorghum is, globally, the fifth most important cereal after maize, rice, wheat and barley. The crop is tolerant to semi-arid and arid climatic conditions. Twenty-five sorghum varieties grown in South Africa were evaluated in the field at two locations with the objective of identifying high yielding, micronutrient dense genotypes. Two clusters were formed based on measured traits. Tx430 (G13), CIMMYT entry 49 (G12), E35-1 (G16), Framida (G19), IS1934 (G7) and IS14380 (G14) formed cluster A. The rest of the sorghum entries formed cluster B. Wide variation was exhibited for grain yield, ranging from 1.12 t ha−1 to 3.96 t ha−1 with a mean grain yield of 2.83 tha−1. Analysis of variance also revealed significant differences among the varieties for protein, total starch, amylose and mineral content. Two varieties, Tx430 and AR-3048 exhibited very high protein content. Fe content ranged from 43.7 mg kg−1 (Kuyuma) to 61.2 mg kg−1 (IS14380) with an average of 50.5 mg kg−1. Zn content ranged from 13.7 mg kg−1 (Macia) to 23.4 mg kg−1 (Tx430) with a mean of 17.4 mg kg−1. Grain yield was significantly positively correlated with plant height, panicle weight and thousand kernel weight. Significant positive correlations were observed between Fe content and Zn, Cu, Mn and P. This data indicated that simultaneous genetic improvement of sorghum varieties for Fe and other important minerals, and starch content in the same genetic background was possible, without a penalty to grain yield.

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White wheat is, categorically, more susceptible to pre-harvest sprouting (PHS) than red wheat. Physiological maturity (PM), defined as when the seeds reach their maximum dry weight, is a critical time before harvesting. The objective of this study was to determine a reference level of α-amylase activity and the corresponding Falling Number (FN) value near the time of PM of selected red and white cultivars in the absence of PHS inducing conditions. Twenty-four soft winter wheat genotypes (12 red and 12 white) adapted to Michigan with varying historic levels of susceptibility to PHS were planted in an α-lattice design in two locations from 2008 to 2010. Spikes were collected three days before PM, at PM, and three days post PM. Samples were freeze-dried, threshed, milled and evaluated for α-amylase activity and FN value using high throughput method. Within genotype, clear trends were observed in the reduction of α-amylase activity and the increase of FN value during the physiological maturation. A nonlinear relationship between α-amylase activity and FN value was fit with an r 2 of 0.801. Significant differences were observed for genotype for both α-amylase activity and FN value for all collection time points. No significant differences were found between red and white wheat, categorically, at any of the three time-points in the absence of PHS. The evaluation results provide a critical reference prior to induction of PHS. The α-amylase activity and FN tests show different advantages in analyzing PHS samples as the relationship between α-amylase activity and FN value is not linear over wide-ranging results.

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This study evaluated the effect of surfactant-assisted enzymatic extraction on the quality of tiger nut milk (TNM). TNM was extracted from tiger nuts using different concentrations of xylanase (0.010–0.100%) and Tween 20 (0.005–0.010%). The yield, stability, nutritional, antioxidant, and sensory properties of the samples were determined. The yield of TNM significantly increased, by 32.72–50.67%, following surfactant-assisted enzymatic extraction. Optimum yield and stability of TNM were obtained using 0.010% xylanase and Tween 20. Enzymatic extraction significantly increased total sugar and flavonoids, however, starch, dietary fibre, protein, carotenoids, lycopene, total phenolic content, and antioxidant properties reduced significantly. The incorporation of Tween 20 stabilised these parameters. There was no significant difference in panellists' preference for the control (sample extracted without enzyme and surfactant), enzymatically-extracted, and surfactant-assisted enzymatic extracted samples in mouthfeel and aroma, however, the surfactant-assisted enzymatic extracted sample was most preferred in colour, consistency, taste, and overall acceptability. Using surfactant-assisted enzymatic extraction could prove invaluable for the production of TNM.

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