NSI develops many value added products from stalk of ‘Jowar’ crop

While the year 2023 is being celebrated as “International Year of Millets”, National Sugar Institutes took a leap by developing many value added products from the stalk of “Jowar” crop, also known as “Sweet Sorghum” which may result in many new “Start Ups”, higher income to millet farmers, newer investments and employment generation.

While the grains i.e. Jowar are to be used in conventional manner as food, researches showed that the stalk of it, at present being used mainly as fodder, can be a source for making many value added products. The stalk once crushed in mills, yields juice and fibrous material, both can be excellent source for producing many value added products. By doing so, the whole crop shall have value resulting in higher income to the farmers making its cultivation more attractive said Shri Narendra Mohan, Director.

The fibrous material having a gross calorific value of about 2200 Kcal/Kg. can be used as fuel for biomass based power generation. Ms. Shalini Kumari, Researh Fellow of Physical Chemistry division successfully converted this fibrous material to bio-char by physico-chemical process for de-colorization of waste waters and sugar syrups. We could achieve colour removal to the extent of 70-75% in the sugar syrups which is considered excellent and will help in making superior quality white sugar, said Ms. Shalini Kumari.

In their research work, Ms. Neelam Chaturvedi, Research Fellow and Mr. Himanshu Mishra, Research Scholar, both of Physical Chemistry division got success in developing dietary fibre from the fibre of the stalk. The product besides being in demand in healthcare industry in various formulations for improving the digestion & preventing constipation, also finds its application in bakery industry as well, said Neelam. Research Fellow of Organic Chemistry, Ms. Mamta Shukla, derived “Vanillin” from lignin portion of the fibrous material, which otherwise is produced from vanilla beans and some other raw materials. Vanillin known for its vanilla flavour finds its application in various bakery, confectionary, beverage and pharmaceutical industry with significant consumption in ice creams.

As regards juice, which contains various carbohydrates, it can be utilized for producing ethanol, the yield being 45-50 liters per ton of stalk crushed. Another team of sugar technology division comprising Ms. Shruti Shukla, Ms. Svechchha Singh and Ms. Anushka Kanodia, developed a natural sweetener, “Natural Low Calorie Liquid Sugar” containing fructose, glucose and sucrose in the range of (45 – 48%), (39 – 42%), (8 – 10%) respectively from the sweet sorghum juice. The product has a total energy value of about 296 kcal/100 g, lower to sugar having 387 kcal/100g and honey having about 320 kcal/100 g. This being one-of-a-kind sugar, has an aroma & taste that is more-earthy and has a glossy finish that attracts its application in barbecue marinades, salad dressings, granolas, cookie manufacturing and many more, said Anushka Kanodia the team leader.

We are thankful to ICAR-Indian Institute of Millets Research for providing us the seeds for cultivation of five different varieties for sorghum at our farm. We made efforts to exploit the potential of the crop so as to convert this neglected crop to a “Miracle or Wonder Crop” making it attractive to farmers also as they get higher returns, said Shri Narendra Mohan, Director.


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