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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Grain Quality and Structure Research » Research » Research Project #436614

Research Project: Functional Properties of Sorghum Biomolecules Related to Human Health Benefits

Location: Grain Quality and Structure Research

Project Number: 3020-43440-002-014-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2019
End Date: Jul 31, 2024

The objective is to investigate structure and function relationships of sorghum phenolic compounds and proteins related to human health attributes.

Experiments will be conducted to investigate the use of sorghum phenolic compounds and proteins in functional food systems and determine mechanisms behind potential human health benefits of sorghum biomolecules. Experiments will be conducted to analyze various types of sorghum phenolic extracts in cellular based assays for their effectiveness in killing cancer cells, anti-obesity, and anti-inflammatory properties. The extracts will be obtained using optimized solvents based on ethanol and citric acid. Extracts will be characterized by colorimetric assays to determine crude composition of total phenolics, tannin content, and anthocyanin content. Composition of the extracts will be determined by analysis by spectroscopic methods and HPLC. The influence of the sorghum phenolic extracts on cellular reactive oxygen species production will be evaluated using electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy (EPR) under physiological and pathological conditions. Chemometric analysis will be done to correlate the content and composition of the sorghum phenolic extracts to bioactivity (i.e. cellular based assays and electron paramagnetic resonance results). This will make it possible to determine which compounds in sorghum are responsible for observed activities against cancer cells. Rapid HPLC and other methods for screening for the presence of these compounds will then be investigated. In addition to using EPR to study phenolic compounds, this technique will also be used to study properties of isolated sorghum proteins. EPR will be used to determine protein anti-oxidant potentials. To compliment the EPR studies, physico-chemical attributes of protein isolates will also be studied including surface hydrophobicity, water holding capacity, secondary and folding structure and surface charge.