Raise a toast to Baijiu and Charles Sturt’s research to grow sorghum markets

8 AUGUST 2019

Charles Sturt is researching if Australian-grown sorghum can be used in the production of a popular Chinese spirit called baijui.

  • Charles Sturt is researching if Australian-grown sorghum is suitable for baijui production
  • Production of baijiu, which is a popular Chinese spirit made from sorghum, could provide new market opportunities for Australian farmers
  • Researchers will host a free baijiu tasting event on Friday 9 August

Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) scientists are preparing to pour a glass of the Chinese alcoholic drink baijiu to highlight their research to grow Australian sorghum markets.

The researchers from the Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Functional Grains (FGC) will host a free tasting event to mark World Baijiu Day at Charles Sturt in Wagga Wagga on Friday 9 August.

Dr Siong Tan (pictured) said baijiu is popular in China, representing a third of global spirit sales.

“Baijiu is a clear spirit usually distilled from fermented sorghum that’s between 40 to 60 per cent alcohol,” said Dr Tan.

“Research at the Functional Grains Centre is examining the quality requirements of sorghum used for baijiu production in China.

“Australian sorghum is an important summer crop in Queensland and northern NSW, but most of the grain is used as stock feed.

"We believe there are opportunities to add real export value to the sorghum for Australian producers by understanding the science behind Chinese baijiu production.”

The Grains Research and Development Corporation has invested in the five-year research project titled ‘Expanding options for sorghum – food and distilling’, which is value adding for the grain.

The World Baijiu Day celebrations at the FGC will kick off with an information session and showcase of baijiu production from 3pm, with tasting at 3:30 pm.

People need to be 18 years and older to take part in the tasting.

Registration for the event is essential and available online via the Eventbrite website.

Funded by the Australian Government through the ARC’s Industrial Transformation Training Centres scheme, the FGC is administered by Charles Sturt and is an initiative of the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation.

Media Note:

To arrange interviews contact Graham Centre communications officer Emily Malone on 0439 552 385 or email emalone@csu.edu.au

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Wagga Wagga Agricultural Science Graham Centre Research