More families in Ethiopia are purchasing their injera from local vendors instead of preparing it at home due to increased disposable income and the rise of the middle class. While teff has traditionally served as the base for injera, sorghum is commonly incorporated into injera fabrication, thanks to both its affordability and availability. However, due to its physio-chemical traits, sorghum tends to underperform in the making of injera, which limits its use as a base ingredient and keeps the price of injera higher with the dependence on teff.
In an effort to improve the functionality of sorghum in commercial grain-based food products, improved highly digestible (IHD) sorghum lines have been developed and have displayed improved performance in food processing. These IHD lines are being tested in Ethiopian environments in order to evaluate production constraints and opportunities for local farmers. Food scientists have worked with food product development labs and local entrepreneurs to assess the performance of the IHD sorghum. Consumer preference studies show that injera made from blends with these improved sorghum lines performs as well as 100% teff injera and is equally preferred.
This project and research was funded by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sorghum and Millet, known as the Sorghum and Millet Innovation Lab (SMIL). This lab is funded by USAID and managed at Kansas State University.
William Rooney Kebede Abegaz
Abadi Mezgebe Tadesse Teferra
Texas A&M University
Kansas State University
Ethiopia - Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Hawassa University
South Africa - University of Pretoria
Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR)