Sorghum: Health food, sweetener and now, clothing dye

May 24, 2017

Sorghum has long been a staple food in many parts of the world, but in the U.S., it's best known as a sweetener and livestock feed. As demand for the grain soars, so does the amount of waste husks. To reduce this waste, scientists report in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering a new use for it: a wool dye that can add ultraviolet protection and fluorescence properties to clothing.

Sorghum, which looks like pearl couscous, is a hardy, drought-tolerant crop that is gaining popularity as a health food, livestock feed and source of bioethanol. Additionally, scientists are working on transforming the crop's waste for a range of applications, including food coloring and waste water purification. Building further on the colorant possibilities, Yiqi Yang, Xiuliang Hou and colleagues wanted to see if they could develop a practical clothing dye out of sorghum husks.

The researchers tested extracts of husks on wool materials, which turned varying shades of brown. The dyes showed good colorfastness even when the wool was washed, rubbed and ironed. They also added UV protection and fluorescence properties to the materials, which withstood 30 cycles of laundering.
-end-
The authors acknowledge funding from the Special Fund for the Transformation of Scientific & Technological Achievements in Jiangsu Province, the Science & Technology Guidance Project by China Textile Industry Association, the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, the 111 projects, the USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Agricultural Research Division at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The abstract that accompanies this study is available here.

The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, is a not-for-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS is a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.

Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

American Chemical Society

Related Sorghum Articles from Brightsurf:

Research reveals infertile spikelets contribute to yield in sorghum and related grasses
A team of scientists at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, in laboratories led by Elizabeth (Toby) Kellogg PhD, member and Robert E.

Corn and other crops are not adapted to benefit from elevated carbon dioxide levels
Although rising carbon dioxide levels can boost plant growth, a new review from the University of Illinois shows that some crops, including corn, are adapted to a pre-industrial environment and cannot distribute their resources effectively to take advantage of extra CO2.

Extruded grains may be better for pigs
Extrusion is the norm in the pet and aqua feed industries, yet it remains unusual for swine feed in the United States.

Successful improvement of the catalytic activity of photosynthetic CO2 fixing enzyme Rubisco
A research group consisting of Associate Professor FUKAYAMA Hiroshi (Kobe University) and Professor MATSUMURA Hiroyoshi (Ritsumeikan University) et al. have succeeded in greatly increasing the catalytic activity of Rubisco, the enzyme which fixes carbon from CO2 in plant photosynthesis.

Improving protein digestibility in sorghum
Improving protein digestibility in sorghum

Flavonoids' presence in sorghum roots may lead to frost-resistant crop
Flavonoid compounds -- produced by the roots of some sorghum plants -- positively affect soil microorganisms, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest the discovery is an early step in developing a frost-resistant line of the valuable crop for North American farmers.

Water-saving alternative forage crops for Texas livestock
With increasing drought conditions in the Texas High Plains, researchers test sorghum and pearl millet as alternatives to corn.

Warming Midwest conditions may result in corn, soybean production moving north
If warming continues unabated in the Midwest, in 50 years we can expect the best conditions for corn and soybean production to have shifted from Iowa and Illinois to Minnesota and the Dakotas, according to Penn State researchers.

Overcoming carbon loss from farming in peatlands
Miscanthus, willow found as good biomass crops to add carbon to vulnerable soils.

Local genetic adaption helps sorghum crop hide from witchweed
Sorgum crops in areas where the parasite witchweed is common have locally adapted to have mutations in a particular gene, which helps the plant resist the parasite.

Read More: Sorghum News and Sorghum Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.