Influence of High Protein Digestibility Sorghums on Free Amino Nitrogen (FAN) Production during Malting and Mashing Academic Article uri icon


  • In sorghum brewing, obtaining sufficient Free Amino Nitrogen (FAN) for rapid and complete fermentation remains a problem due to the high proportions of unmalted sorghum used and the poor digestibility of wet-heat treated sorghum protein. Sorghum mutant lines with high protein digestibility have been developed through breeding. These high protein digestibility sorghums (HPDS) have protein bodies with villi-like borders that apparently facilitate protease access. This work investigated FAN production from HPDS when malted and mashed, to assess their potential for use in sorghum brewing to improve wort FAN levels. When malted, HPDS contained substantially higher levels of FAN than normal protein digestibility sorghums (NPDS), 32 mg/100 g malt more. However, when the HPDS were mashed either as malt, or as grain or malt plus exogenous proteases, FAN production during mashing was not substantially higher than with NPDS subjected to the same treatments, only 6, 6-18 and 9-13 mg/100 g grain or malt, respectively. This is probably due to wet-heat induced cross-linking of the kafirin proteins reducing their susceptibility to proteolysis. Notwithstanding this, HPDS could be very useful for improving FAN levels in sorghum brewing if they are malted. 2011 The Institute of Brewing & Distilling.

published proceedings

  • Journal of the Institute of Brewing

author list (cited authors)

  • Mugode, L., Portillo, O. R., Hays, D. B., Rooney, L. W., & Taylor, J.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Mugode, Luke||Portillo, Ostilio R||Hays, Dirk B||Rooney, Lloyd W||Taylor, John RN

publication date

  • January 2011