Evaluation of phenolics and antioxidant activity of black sorghum hybrids Academic Article uri icon


  • Black sorghums possess very high levels of the rare 3-deoxyanthocyanidins which can be used as natural food colorants with health benefits. However, these sorghum genotypes have undesirable agronomic properties (i.e. high height, low yield, increased weathering). Black sorghum hybrids with improved agronomic properties were developed and their phenolic profiles and antioxidant activity were compared with black sorghum lines. Black sorghum hybrids were significantly lighter in colour than the lines ( P<0.001). All hybrids had a pigmented testa which was indicated by the presence of condensed tannins, which significantly increased total phenol levels and antioxidant activity. The 3-deoxyanthocyanidin, flavan-4-ol, and flavone levels were significantly lower in the hybrids ( P<0.001) and were strongly correlated to pericarp colour ( P<0.001). Flavanone levels were not significantly different among the lines and hybrids ( P>0.05) and pericarp colour did not affect their levels ( P>0.05). Even though the 3-deoxyanthocyanidin levels were lower in black sorghum hybrids than in the lines, the presence of condensed tannins in the hybrids significantly increased their antioxidant activity. Since 3-deoxyanthocanidin levels were dependent on pericarp colour, hybrids with increased blackness intensity should be developed to increase the stable 3-deoxyanthocyanidins. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

author list (cited authors)

  • Dykes, L., Rooney, W. L., & Rooney, L. W.

citation count

  • 46

publication date

  • September 2013