Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Cereal Chem. 83(1):108–113


This article is in the public domain and not copyrightable. It may be freely reprinted with customary crediting of the source. AACC International, Inc., 2006.


The single kernel characterization system (SKCS) has been widely used in the wheat industry, and SKCS parameters have been linked to end-use quality in wheat. The SKCS has promise as a tool for evaluating sorghum grain quality. However, the SKCS was designed to analyze wheat, which has a different kernel structure from sorghum. To gain a better understanding of the meaning of SKCS predictions for grain sorghum, individual sorghum grains were measured for length, width, thickness (diameter), and weight by laboratory methods and by the SKCS. SKCS predictions for kernel weight and thickness were highly correlated to laboratory measurements. However, SKCS predictions for kernel thickness were underestimated by ≈20%. The SKCS moisture prediction for sorghum was evaluated by tempering seven samples with varying hardness values to four moisture levels. The moisture contents predicted by SKCS were compared with a standard oven method and, while correlated, SKCS moisture predictions were less than moisture measured by air oven, especially at low moisture content. Finally, SKCS hardness values were compared with hardness measured by abrasive decortication. A moderate (r = 0.67, P < 0.001) correlation was observed between the hardness measurements. The SKCS predictions of kernel weight and diameter were highly correlated with laboratory measurement. Moisture prediction, however, was substantially lower by the SKCS than as measured by an air oven method. The SKCS should be suitable for measuring sorghum grain attributes. Further research is needed to determine how SKCS hardness predictions are correlated to milling properties of sorghum grain.