Foods like quinoa (or quinua) and amaranth are consumed for centuries in the Andes regions. An example of this is that in tombs more than 4,000 years old remains of these products are found which consumption is demonstrated by cultures like the Mayans, Aztecs and Incas, thereby leaving an important food legacy linked to the consumption thereof. In countries such as Bolivia, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico and Peru consumption is very common and rooted in the basic diet.

Did you know that one of its main nutrients are proteins?

Proteins are molecules formed by amino acids that are necessary for the growth of the organism and perform bio regulator functions (form enzymes), the body’s defense (antibodies are proteins), homeostatic (collaborate to regulate the body’s pH), among others.

As you can see is very important protein intake to help the proper functioning of the body.

And where you can find it?

Dietary sources include proteins are meat, eggs, legumes, nuts, vegetables and dairy products.

Did you know that our body is unable to synthesize all the amino acids necessary for its correct functioning?

These amino acids are called “essential amino acids” and are ten; valine, leucine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, methionine, threonine, histidine (essential for infants), lysine, arginine (semi essential). For a protein is considered complete should contain all the essential amino acids, which is why the food we eat should contain, but most foods contain some of these, being necessary for it to use mixes of food, which in its set covering the daily intake of these amino acids. Foods that can mention which are complete proteins are meat, fish, soy, spirulina, quinoa and amaranth among others.

Consumption of quinoa and amaranth began in Europe relatively few years ago, attracted by the existing biodiversity in other regions to provide products with high nutritional value. France has a high consumption of quinoa while in Spain has not yet become widespread. One of the groups that increased consumption of these products have, are celiacs because they do not contain gluten and therefore is used as substitutes for the wheat. In Europe and the United States is consumed as whole grains, flakes, general flour, wholemeal toasted amaranth, amaranth popped the popcorn style, pre-gel powders amaranth, oils Amaranth, cereal bars, breads amaranth, tortillas amaranth and corn, among others.

Quinoa is recognized by the World Health Organization as a great source of nutrients and in 2013 was declared the International Year of Quinoa. NASA procures its crew with quinoa for extended space missions, because it is a very nutritious food. Quinoa is not only used for human consumption but serves as fodder for animal feed because of its nutritional value.

Here are some products that have been developed in other countries on the basis of Quinoa and amaranth.

Already exists wide variety of products containing quinoa and amaranth, and we believe this can be expanded much more if we trust in the capabilities of research centers such as CARTIF that are in continuous search for alternative methodologies to help alleviate various problems, they search for new applications for traditional products or obtaining products with high added value of raw materials and agricultural food waste.

Anabel Elisa Ruiz
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