Posts Tagged ‘amino acids’

A Mother’s Milk & A Seed From Peru

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Quinoa consumption and production have exploded in recent years. The trend is reflected in search volume for Qunioa:

Quinoa Trend

According to Yahoo! News, Bolivia and Peru account for almost 97% of production. In Bolivia exports have risen from slightly over 1400 metric tons in 2000 to 14500 metric tons in 2009 with wholesale prices increasing 700% over the period. What is driving this huge demand? Quinoa is actually a seed, but not just any seed:

  • It provides 10 essential amino acids and is loaded with minerals.
  • It has a protein content between 14 and 18%.
  • It has been suggested that quinoa is the most perfect food for the human diet with the FAO (U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization) suggesting it can be substituted for mother’s milk – it is that nutritious.
  • Even though it’s a seed, it’s eaten like a grain. However, it is gluten-free and therefore more easily digestible.
  • It can be substituted for rice in almost any application.

The popularity of Quinoa is starting to impact the lives of those that produce it in South America. It is hoped that this new found demand will lift farmers out of poverty, with quinoa now considered a strategic crop in Bolivia, the world’s largest producer.

Read More:

    Quinoa For Breakfast

    Friday, August 20th, 2010

    As we’ve discussed before, quinoa has excellent nutritional value: its protein content is very high and contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for human consumption. It’s arguably the best complete protein source among plant foods. On top of this, it’s also a good source of dietary fiber and gluten-free making it easy to digest.

    If you go out on the internet looking for how to incorporate quinoa into your diet, recipes abound. The perennial favourite approach is to incorporate quinoa into a salad and other savory side dishes. But why stop there? We also think quinoa is an excellent candidate for breakfast and sweets. It can be as simple as adding plain yogurt, apples, and a sprinkle of coconut sugar to a bowl of quinoa:

    Quinoa Breakfast

    Another delicious alternative is quinoa with blueberries and bananas drizzled with home made blueberry syrup (we got the recipe for the syrup from the excellent Simple Bites blog, but instead of refined sugar, try using coconut sugar instead):

    Blueberry Sauce on Quinoa, Bananas and Blueberries!

    If you head over to Sweet On Veg, you’ll find another fantastic take on the blueberry + quinoa theme: Blueberry Maple Quinoa.

    Another promising way to incorporate quinoa into sweets is to use puffed quinoa. This unique product is somewhat like puffed wheat, but each individual unit is smaller offering a more interesting texture. It has a very pleasing toasted taste and would work well in health bars, desserts and breakfast cereals.

    Demand for Quinoa Surges

    Monday, June 21st, 2010

    quinoa

    There is a surge in demand for the ancient grain Quinoa, driven by a new found awareness of its nutritional value. Quinoa is a chenopod, so it’s actually closely related to species such as beets and spinach. While the greens can be consumed, it’s the grains which are typically used in food. Quinoa’s protein content is very high (12%–18%) and unlike wheat or rice, quinoa is high in lysine and therefore has a complete set of essential amino acids. It’s also a good source of dietary fiber. Besides being high in magnesium and iron, Quinoa is gluten-free and as such, easy to digest. Check out the search volume and news reference trends for quinoa since 2004:

    quinoa search volume trends

    According to Global Post, the demand for this grain has caused prices in Bolivia, the world’s largest quinoa exporter, to soar and exports to North America have risen over 300% since 2005:

    But only in the past five years has its value to farmers has jumped through the roof, with international markets suddenly taking an interest in this nutritious food. This demand has changed the lives of quinoa farmers in Bolivia, which is the world’s largest quinoa exporter…In the 1980s, 100 pounds of quinoa sold for $7 inside Bolivia. Now the same amount of high-quality organic quinoa can sell for more than $100 to vendors in the United States or Europe.

    Hopefully this demand will be offset by greater supplies as farmers realize the economic potential of this crop.

    We like the potential for using quinoa flour in bread and bakery applications. The proper preparation of quinoa is essential since quinoa has a coating of bitter-tasting saponins. Therefore good quinoa has been processed to remove this coating. This process usually involves rinsing the grains. It has been suggested that this bitter coating may have caused early European settlers to south america to reject it as a food source. Quinoa is becoming widely available to consumers. If you’re a food manufacturer interested in using quinoa we’d be happy to discuss how it can be applied in your products. We currently source quinoa from Peru.

    Here’s another thing you can do: subscribe to the Ingredient Hotline blog today and follow us on twitter so you can stay up to date on the latest in innovative, all natural food ingredients.

    Quinoa: Bolivia’s nutty-tasting export success

    Photo Credit: Christian Guthier