International Sorghum and Millet Collaborative Research Support Program (INTSORMIL CRSP)




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INTSORMIL Report No. 7, November 1, 2006


The El Salvador baking industry is dependent on imported wheat which results in a loss of valuable foreign exchange. In response, CENTA (Centro Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria y Forestal) scientists with support from INTSORMIL have produced sorghum varieties which have the physical and chemical qualities making them suitable for flour which can be used as a partial substitute for wheat flour in the baking industry, thus decreasing the cost of baked goods. CENTA food technician, Fidelia Herrera pioneered the use of sorghum flour in El Salvador and began helping village bakers utilize sorghum flour back in the 70’s.

To test the market demand for sorghum flour, the CENTA is collaborating with Agroindustrial GUMARSAL, a large flour (wheat, rice, maize and sorghum) milling company, in a study entitled “Acceptance and Utilization of Sorghum Flour as a Substitute for Wheat in the Baking Industry.” The information obtained in this study will be used to develop a strategy to promote the use of sorghum flour by bakers.

GUMARSAL milled the sorghum flour from grain of CENTA developed sorghum varieties and prepared small packets (see photo below) for testing by bakeries and consumers in the Santa Tecla area. CENTA economist Gilberto Sandoval and food technologists Vilma Calderon and Margarita Alvarado interviewed the bakers to determine their acceptance and utilization of sorghum flour in their bakery as a partial substitute for wheat. The study indicated that: