Effect of Bioprocessing on Techno-Functional Properties of Climate-Resilient African Crops, Sorghum and Cowpea

Markus Nikinmaa (Corresponding Author), Stefano Renzetti, Riikka Juvonen, Natalia Rosa-Sibakov, Martijn Noort, Emilia Nordlund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Sorghum and cowpea are very compatible for intercropping in hot and dry environments, and they also have complementary nutritional compositions. Thus, the crops have the potential to improve food security in regions threatened by climate change. The aim of this study was to investigate different enzymes (carbohydrate-degrading, proteases and phytases) and lactic acid bacteria (LAB) fermentation to improve the techno-functional properties of sorghum and cowpea flours. Results show that sorghum carbohydrates were very resistant to hydrolysis induced by bioprocessing treatments. Most of the protease treatments resulted in low or moderate protein solubilization (from ca. 6.5% to 10%) in sorghum, while the pH adjustment to 8 followed by alkaline protease increased solubility to 40%. With cowpea, protease treatment combined with carbohydrate-degrading enzymes increased the solubility of proteins from 37% up to 61%. With regard to the techno-functional properties, LAB and amylase treatment decreased the sorghum peak paste viscosities (from 504 to 370 and 325 cPa, respectively), while LAB and chemical acidification increased cowpea viscosity (from 282 to 366 and 468 cPa, respectively). When the bioprocessed sorghum and cowpea were tested in breadmaking, only moderate effects were observed, suggesting that the modifications by enzymes and fermentation were not strong enough to improve breadmaking.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3049
Number of pages19
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • baking
  • bioprocessing
  • cowpea
  • enzymes
  • fermentation
  • sorghum


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