Sorghum Flour, Sorghum Health Benefits Featured At Japan Event

In Japan, the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) staff has been hard at work promoting the use of food sorghum, most recently at an event that featured a recipe contest using sorghum flour.

The event welcomed around 40 attendees and offered a robust and interactive program focused on the health-oriented grain that is sorghum. A food photo contest kicked off the program, in which sorghum was used in creating cupcake decoration, art focaccia and a sushi sandwich. Erica Angyal, an author and nutritionist who has worked with the Council’s Japan office on sorghum food promotion over the years, hosted a session with Hiroki Murooka, a popular hair stylist, on health and how including sorghum in one’s diet can play a role in maintaining a healthy appearance. The event came to a close with a sorghum lunch, offering attendees dishes made with sorghum flour.

“In August, the Council gave a lecture at Ecole Umeda of Murakawa Academy, a culinary school in western Japan, on what sorghum is and how it differs from wheat. As part of the class, Murakawa Academy regularly holds a recipe contest that connects food suppliers with restaurants,” said Tommy Hamamoto, USGC director in Japan. “This most recent program connected the Council and Glico Nutrition Foods, a rice flour producer, with a restaurant looking to offer a gluten free okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake) using U.S. white sorghum flour at a specialty store in Osaka.”

The Council has been promoting U.S. food sorghum as a health-oriented foodstuff via promotional events and media coverage throughout Japan. The Council’s research with a group of nutrition experts at Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine has revealed high levels of minerals and dietary fiber improve the gut environment in a study using laboratory animals.

“The Council will continue promoting nutritionally superior food sorghum from both scientific and publicity aspects with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s Agricultural Trade Office in Japan,” Hamamoto said.