Sorghum and millet offer enormous opportunities for improved food supply and socio-economic development in marginalized communities, but their production is minimal because few products that fit modern tastes, preferences and demands are available. This challenge was successfully addressed in Phase 1 of the BioInnovate Programme, when puffed sorghum snacks, instant sorghum flour, nutritionally enriched complementary foods, sorghum snack bar, and sorghum clear malt drink were developed. The processes and formulations used then will be further improved, providing yet another opportunity for transforming technological and products innovations into socio-economic gains for smallholder farmers and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in eastern Africa.
Technological innovations in this project include value added sorghum and millet products, processes, and formulations produced at industrial and commercial scale to profitably and sustainably drive the sorghum and millet value chains. Business model development, supply chain and market analysis, as well as business incubation approaches to address limitations in sorghum and millet value chains, will be deployed to ensure a successful commercialization of the target technologies and products. One such technology is extrusion, an energy efficient and versatile process used to continuously achieve desirable quality properties in food products, without any effluence. With so few companies using this novel technology, its commercial potential has not been fully exploited.