• Bioavailability;
  • fermentation;
  • iron;
  • phytase;
  • phytates;
  • sorghum;
  • tannins;
  • zinc


Factors able to modulate chelating factors, trace minerals and their bioavailability were investigated in porridges of five sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) varieties: from Nigeria, Senegal, Burkina Faso and two from Italy. Effects of variety and traditional fermentation and cooking were assessed on iron-binding phenolic groups, phytates and iron and zinc content and bioavailability. Chelating factors, trace elements as well as the effect of processing (mainly fermentation) were modulated by variety. Fermentation decreased iron-binding phenolic groups until 49% and phytate content until 72% as well as increased phytase activity 3.4–16.4 fold, leading to enhancement of iron and zinc estimated bioavailability. Cooking alone had almost no effect. The lowest chelating factors content and the highest trace minerals bioavailability were shown by fermented Senegal landrace, whereas the Italian varieties overall showed the worst results. The results indicate that selection of traditional varieties and appropriate processing methods can improve sorghum nutritional value.