top of page

The latest news, trends, analysis, interviews and podcasts from the global food and beverage industry

FoodBev Media Logo
Access more as a FoodBev subscriber

Sign up to FoodBev and unlock more insights from the international food and beverage industry. Subscribers have access to webinars, newsletters, publications and more...

Millet: The millennia-old grain of the future
Partner Content

Partner Content

24 June 2024

Millet: The millennia-old grain of the future

Millet is one of humanity's oldest cultivated grains, having been grown for over 10,000 years. Originally, millet came from the arid regions of Africa and Asia, where it served as a staple food. In ancient China, millet was a primary component of the diet 7,000 years ago. It also played a central role in agriculture in India and Africa. Due to its high resistance to drought and poor soils, millet became an important grain in areas where other plants could barely thrive. In Europe, millet was widespread during the Middle Ages but was later replaced by wheat and barley. In the last few years, millet has been experiencing a renaissance due to its numerous benefits.


Modern recognition

 

Last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) named millet the "grain of the year." This recognition honours millet not only as a historically significant grain but also as a modern response to nutritional and ecological challenges.


Water efficiency 

Millet is characterised by its exceptional water efficiency, making it ideal for arid and semi-arid regions. Compared to many other grains, millet requires significantly less water.


Cultivation in Europe


The cultivation of millet in Europe has gained importance in recent years, especially in countries such as Spain, Italy and Poland, for example. Given climate change and increasing water scarcity, millet is seen as an attractive alternative to more water-intensive grains such as rice. Growing millet can promote European agriculture, reduce transport costs and decrease dependence on imports.


Soil health


Millet can thrive on less fertile soils and in areas where other crops struggle. This ability reduces the need for chemical fertilisers. Through crop rotation and its natural properties, millet contributes to improving soil health.


Heat and drought resistance


Millet is a resilient grain that withstands higher temperatures and drier conditions, making it well-suited for regions with challenging climatic conditions. This adaptability makes it an important crop in times of climate change.

  

Pest resistance 


Millet also stands out for its remarkable resistance to many pests and diseases, making it a robust and low-maintenance crop. This reduces the need for pesticides, which in turn benefits the environment and lowers production costs for farmers. One reason for this resistance is the genetic diversity of millet species, which have adapted to various climatic and ecological conditions over centuries.


Short growing season


The growing season of millet varies depending on the variety and growing conditions but typically ranges between 70 and 120 days. This allows for multiple harvests per year if conditions are ideal.


Carbon footprint 


Millet is a resilient plant that grows well in dry conditions and requires little water, making its cultivation particularly environmentally friendly. Millet also requires less intensive agricultural practices than some other grains, leading to lower energy consumption and, thus, reduced CO₂ emissions. These characteristics make millet a sustainable choice in food production.


Biodiversity 


There are several millet species, such as pearl millet, finger millet and foxtail millet, to name a few. Cultivating different varieties can contribute to agricultural biodiversity, which is essential for a resilient food system.


Millet applications: The next popular dairy alternative

 

Meurens Natural has developed innovative millet syrups and powders for the creation of plant-based foods.


Our Millet range includes:


  • SIPA/NATU-MILLET 25 and 45: These millet syrups off­er natural sweetness (sugar and glucose syrup substitutes), millet flavour, natural colour, crispness, viscosity and much more.

  • SIPA/NATUDRY MILLET 25: Our millet powder provides savoury millet taste, viscosity, crispness, prevents crystallisation, attractive short sugar content, cleaner labelling such as “dehydrated millet syrup” or “millet extract” instead of “maltodextrin”. It is an excellent alternative to milk for vegan chocolate production (’Chocomillette’).


Find out more about it here.


#MeurensNatural #partnercontent

Related posts
The Coconut Collab launches plant-based protein yogurt
New products

The Coconut Collab launches plant-based protein yogurt

Veg Capital triples investment in Shicken
Funding & Investments

Veg Capital triples investment in Shicken

Coperion expands MegaTex cooling die series for meat alternatives
Manufacturing

Coperion expands MegaTex cooling die series for meat alternatives

Umiami opens €38m plant-based meat factory in France
Plant-based

Umiami opens €38m plant-based meat factory in France

Califia Farms unveils plant-based milk that rivals dairy milk’s nutrition
Dairy

Califia Farms unveils plant-based milk that rivals dairy milk’s nutrition

Upfield unveils plastic-free, recyclable tub for plant butters and spreads
Packaging

Upfield unveils plastic-free, recyclable tub for plant butters and spreads

bottom of page