Looking at ways to develop vinegar, liquid sweeteners, alcoholic beverages and other food-grade products is the goal of a $30,000 grant recently awarded to the LSU AgCenter Audubon Sugar Institute from the United Sorghum Checkoff Program.
Gillian Eggleston, director of the Audubon Sugar Institute and principal investigator, as well as Giovanna Aita, associate professor and co-investigator on the grant, will be working with Hekemeyer Biorefinery in Sikeston, Missouri, to help improve the company’s products.
Eggleston said she has been working with the father-and-son owners of the refinery, Anthony and Matthew Heckemeyer, for the past five years.
“The Heckemeyer Mill is the largest commercial-scale sweet sorghum processing plant in the country that became operational in 2016,” she said.
Sweet sorghum has been used for the rich source of soluble sugars found in its stalk, which can be refined into a number of food-grade products.