Synmba – A Functional synbiotic sorghum-based beverage

Niselo  Sorghum-Based Beverage

Synmba – A Functional synbiotic sorghum-based beverage

Probiotics have been shown to ameliorate a range of gut-linked health challenges including diarrhoea and oral thrush. Probiotics are live microorganisms which when ingested in adequate amounts impart health benefits to the host. On the other hand, prebiotics are fructooligosaccharides which selectively stimulate probiotic growth in the gut. Presently many would-be beneficiaries miss out on potential health benefits of probiotics as they are usually in up-market dairy-based beverages, or pharmaceutical dosage forms associated with clinical use only. The project will develop and market a sorghum-based instant beverage enriched with phytonutrients and synbiotics (Synmba).

To date:
• The pilot phase of the project has now been validated and stability data on the product established. Production batch manufacturing has commenced. The product has been tested and optimised based on the feedback from over 100 potential customers in Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
• A decision was made to enter the market through street vendors and a network of 37 vendors has been set up in Botswana. The vendors will be trained on the product attributes and given branded cooler boxes and umbrellas. An initial 1500 litres will be distributed through these channels every month.

The Synmba drink will improve health, reduce illness among the targeted consumers, create jobs, expand the biotechnology-skills base, incentivise small and medium sorghum farmers and eventually improve food security. A number of diseases and/or medical complications including diarrhoea, constipation, intestinal infections, hypercholesterolaemia, bacterial vaginitis and oral and vaginal candidiasis may be alleviated by ingestion of synbiotic beverages, such as the Synmba drink, taken in adequate amounts on a regular basis.


Prof. David Katerere
Tshwane University of Technology – South Africa

Dr Oluwaseyi Aboyade
Tshwane University of Technology – South Africa

Dr Lemogang Kwape
National Food Technology Research Centre – Botswana

Ms Thatayaone M Kepaletswe
National Food Technology Research Centre – Botswana

Project Type

Seed project

Countries involved