Difference between millet, sorghum and guinea corn…

Millet, Sorgum and Guinea corn are grains, all gluten-free grown in warm regions all over the world. They are highly nutritious crops rich in dietary fibres, proteins, minerals and vitamins. They are either used for human consumption or can serve as feedstuff for animals.

Although they share many similarities, there are few exceptions that make them differ.

Let’s take a look at some of them.

What is Millet?

Millet are cereal grains from the Poaceae family grown in warm regions such as Africa and Asia. Millets are great sources of antioxidants, carbohydrates, proteins, dietary fibres, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and vitamins. Some benefits include controlling diabetes (this is due to its low glycemic level) and improving digestion. An advantage of millet over other crops is that they can be grown in less fertile/poor soils, droughts and harsh environments. There are two categories of millet: minor and major millets. Types of major millet include: pearl millet, proso millet, foxtail millet, and finger millet. Whereas minor millet are- kodo millet, guinea millet, adlay millet, barnyard millet, fonio millet and little millet. Millet can be used to make bread and other dishes.

What is Sorghum?

Sorghum, or (milo, durra, orshallu, great millet, indian millet) is more of an ancient cereal grain and also belongs to the Poaceae family. Similar to millet, sorghum can also survive in droughts, drier and hot climates. After rice, wheat, maize and barley; it is regarded as the fifth major staple cereal. Native to Africa, it is majorly cultivated in warm regions of the world including America and Asia. Sorghum is known to have higher antioxidant levels compared to other grains. It also contains phytochemicals. It can be used as an alternative for wheat flour, used for baking, making starch, dextrose, alcoholic beverages and can also be milled into flour. Sorghum is available in different forms. They include white and black sorghum, sumac sorghum, and waxy burgundy sorghum.

What is Guinea corn?

Guinea corn is used to refer to Sorghum in West Africa including Nigeria. It is a gluten-free cereal from the Poacea grass family. Its origin is native to Africa and it is one of the leading cereal crops globally. It is one of the major staple foods in various homes. It also serves as a weaning food for infants and convalescents. It is referred to as Dawa in the Northern part of Nigeria; whereas in India, it is called Jowar. Guinea corn is rich in dietary fibers, protein, carbohydrate, riboflavin, thiamine, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, iron, copper, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese and phenolic acids. Consumption of this grain can help prevent metabolic disorders and heart diseases.

Differences between Millet, Sorghum and Guinea corn

Botanical names:

Millet- Paenicum miliaceum
Sorghum- Sorghum bicolor

Regions majorly grown:

Millet- Africa and Asia
Sorghum- America, Africa and Asia
Guinea corn- West Africa

Commonly cultivated variety:

For millets, the most common is the pearl millet or (Pennisetum glaucum). While for Sorghum, the commonly cultivated variety is the Sorghum bicolor. The most popular for guinea corn is the yellow guinea corn.

Difference between millet, sorghum and guinea corn
Millet, guinea corn and sorghum in that order

Nutrition profile:

Looking at their nutrition profile; although similar, millet is slightly higher in calories than Sorghum. Guinea corn has higher calories than millet and sorghum. In about 1 cup (192 grams), it contains 632 kcal.


Some types of millets include finger millet, pearl millet, barnyard millet, little millet, foxtail millet and many more.

Sorghum types include: white sorghum, black sorghum, burgundy sorghum, sumac sorghum and waxy white sorghum.

Types of Guinea corn include: yellow and white guinea corn.


Sorghum can be used to make porridge, cakes and flatbreads; while millet can be used to make porridges, flatbreads and can be consumed just like rice. Guinea corn on the other hand, can be used to make popcorn, pap or akama, burukutu, or consumed as a side dish such as with beans.


Sorghum can be used to make starch, alcoholic beverages, dextrose, and edible oil. Millet can be used as biofuel, used in brewing, grains for human consumption and as fodders for animals. Guinea corn is only used for human consumption.


Millet, Sorghum and Guinea corn are highly nutritious cereal grains, all gluten free from.the Poacea grass family. In as much as they share a lot of similarities, they are different.

I hope you found this article helpful?

Stella-maris Achumba

This article is the intellectual property of www.nimedhealth.com.ng


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