Sorghum varieties for Chinese Baijiu

Identification and development of sorghum varieties for quality Chinese Baijiu spirit production

Degree type


Closing date

27 March 2023


Hobart, Launceston

Citizenship requirement


About the research project

While high-quality Australian sorghum could potentially be exported to such countries for baijiu fermentation, the Australian brewing and distilling industry is dynamic, agile and constantly innovating to reduce costs and improve product quality and diversity, but currently under utilises sorghum. However, Baijiu is an emerging spirit in the Australian beverages industry, being produced currently by two Australia businesses, including Sanyou ( in Launceston (ABCNT, 2021). Baijiu is the most popular spirit in the world. Clearly, the potential export market for Baijiu is enormous as well as the sorghum for Baijiu export market.

This study, will collaboration with Sanyou Tasmania's Baijiu to:

  • Identify optimal sorghum varieties for quality Baijiu spirit production.
  • Define optimal Qu ('Choo'; yeasts, fungi mashed grains – the inoculum for the process) production parameters (temperature, humidity and time).
  • Understand, and develop reliable prediction methods for, the sorghum saccharification process and Baijiu distilling quality and yield to:
    • deliver sorghum that performs predictably and consistently with high yield,
    • meet expectations of our international/domestic Baijiu processors and customers,
    • promote and technically support the saccharification quality advantages of c Australian sorghum varieties to Australian barley breeding companies (e.g., InterGrain).
  • Define quality parameters, using genomics methods, to produce malting sorghum varieties that will surpass the quality of our competitor's varieties.
  • Enhance Australian research capacity to support Grain Growers and GRDC sorghum quality priorities.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Adel Yousif


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $31,500 per annum (2023 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Degree in food science
  • Proficiency in English
  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Adel Yousif to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. Submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application, you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

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