April 2016 Sorghum Report

GMO Labeling Update

Five major food companies have declared their intentions to clearly label GMO ingredients on food packages. Campbell Soup was the first to do so on January 7, 2016 and has since been joined by Kellogg, Mars, General Mills, and most recently ConAgra, who stated that they “believe consumers should be informed as to what’s in their food”. Campbell continues to stand behind “mandatory, broad-based labeling”.

All sorghum is non-GMO, but not all sorghum providers can eliminate the possibility of cross-contact in the field, during harvest, or storage. Thanks to Nu Life’s vertical integration and farm to family quality assurance program, our sorghum is never contaminated with soy or other ingredients that contain GMOs, which would compromise an on-pack GMO claim. Using Nu Life sorghum gives you the utmost assurance that you can stand behind your non-GMO labeling.

Super Grain?

Sorghum Grains SuperfoodBlack Sorghum is currently the subject of several research studies and a couple have received N.I.H. funding for human trials. High in phenolic compounds and 3-deoxyanthocyanidins (luteolinidin & apigeninidin), black sorghum may have a wide health impact including oxidative stress, protein glycation, inflammation, and cancer. A brief slice of research:

Journal of Medicinal Food–Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Select Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) Brans

Black sorghum bran significantly diminished the increase in myeloperoxidase activity 24 hours following the application of TPA.No anti-inflammatory activity was observed with white and Mycogen sorghum bran varieties or with oat, wheat, or rice brans in the mouse ear model. The anti-inflamatory activity observed with these brans correlated with their phenolic content and antioxidant activity. These results demonstrate that selectsorghum bran varieties possess significant anti-inflammatory activity.”

Food Chemistry–Anthocyanins from black sorghum and their antioxidant properties

Black sorghum brans were a very good source of anthocyanins (4.0–9.8 mg/g) relative to the commercial sources currently available (0.2–10 mg/g) (Table 4). This coupled with the fact that they possess mostly the relatively stable 3-deoxyanthocyanidins gives them an edge over the fruits and vegetables as a source of natural anthocyanins.

Phytotherapy Research—A Novel Nutraceutical Property of Select Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) Brans: Inhibition of Protein Glycation.

From abstract: “Although one high phenolic sorghum bran variety (sumac) inhibited protein glycation by approximately 60%, it produced only a 20% decrease in methylglyoxal mediated albumin glycation. These results suggest that certain varieties of sorghum bran may affect critical biological processes that are important in diabetes and insulin resistance. These results distinguish select sorghum brans from the common food brans and suggest a nutraceutical rationale for its human consumption.”

Researchers are available to chat with your team.

Importance of Vertical Integration

“Each and every member of the food industry, from farm to fork, must create a culture where food safety is paramount” —Bill Marler, Food Safety Attorney

Cheerios, Bluebell, Spinach, Peanut Butter. Everyday seems like a new recall. Reducing recall risk is now the focus of boardrooms across the country. In today’s current litigation climate, it’s important for all product development decision makers to think: how do we reduce unnecessary recall risk?

Regardless of safety procedures, brands are only as strong as their suppliers’ commitment to safety. Many companies are now realizing, in order to reduce risk, food safety has to start at the beginning of product development, with a strong focus on ingredients.Our clients have found vertical integration as one of the biggest added values. Vertical integration allows us full traceability of where lots are planted, who planted them, and what was grown around them. This allows our safety measures to start with the seed and the field in which it’s grown. Combined with a full sorghum IP program, we’re able to take quality to another level. With thousands of sorghum varieties on the market, our IP program guarantees specific grain characteristics, such as a smooth clean taste, for a quality level unmatched in the market.

As some have unfortunately experienced, saving pennies can sometimes cost millions.

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Nut Butter!

Sunflower Field

Rising prices of tree nuts, specifically almonds and walnuts, can make nut-based protein options harder to use. Sunflower seed paste demand was originally was for peanut-free options. But due to lower cost, is surging as an excellent nut butter replacement. Great as a binder in bars or as a coating on snacks, and can add a nutritional boost with high amounts of Vitamin E. Marketing teams have also found the narrative of a sustainable, domestic, seed-based product impactful with consumers.

Flaking Away

Gluten Free Sorghum FlakesNu Life has partnered with a predominant cereal flake manufacturer to bring off-the-shelf availability for sorghum flakes! They have years of experience, are SQF certified, and can do custom creations. Excellent for bars, topping for breads, or used as a cereal; both conventional and organic are possible.

Can You Guess Which Popped Sorghum Is Nu Life?

Sorghum has been popped for thousands of years and, while theoretically, any sorghum can be popped, it’s very difficult not to end up with a bag full of unpopped kernels. Our plant breeding program has developed the first high yield variety specific for popping. We have specifically bred our popped sorghum variety through 2 years of plant breeding replications to dial in the texture and efficiency and minimize unpopped kernels. Don’t be fooled by other popped sorghum on the market; make sure you’re using IP Popping Sorghum.

Popped Sorghum Grain

Fun Fact: Yes, that was Sorghum on the Walking Dead. Sorghum is also great for the Zombie Apocalypse. Contact us for help making your Zombie Snacks.