Compositional comparison of Atriplex, saponin-free and saponin-containing Quinoa
K. H. WRIGHT, Food Science and Nutrition, Brigham Young University, S221 ESC -BYU, Provo, UT 84602, C. S. Huber, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Brigham Young University, S221 ESC - BYU, Provo, UT 84602, and D. J. Fairbanks, Botony and Range Science, Brigham Young University, PO BOX 25245, Provo, UT 84602.
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.), an ancient Andean grain, is a valuable source of protein and other nutrients in developing countries. Though the chemical composition, nutraceutical applications, and processing effects of quinoa have been reported, a common conclusion is that the bitter saponins located in the hulls of the quinoa seeds impede its utilization as an economical food source. Atriplex hortensis (ATRI) and Chenopodium quinoa Willd. cv. 'surumi' (SURU), two saponin-free grains, both belonging to the Chenopodiaceae family, may offer a solution to this problem. It is hypothesized that both these grains have a chemical composition similar to the common saponin-containing variety of quinoa.
The objective of this study was to compare the chemical composition, using proximate analysis and amino acid profile, of ATRI and SURU with the common saponin-containing variety of quinoa.
Standard AOAC methods were used to determine total moisture, protein, carbohydrate, fat, and ash of the seeds. HPLC methods were used to determine the amino acid profile of the proteins.
Grains analyzed were composed of 14 to 27% protein, 5 to 6% fat, and 2 to 3% ash. When compared to the FAO/WHO/UWU reference patterns for amino acids, the grains showed a balanced content of essential amino acids. Lysine content ranged from 4 to 7g/100g protein.
This study indicates that ATRI and SURU offer a solution to the saponin-containing quinoa problem. Like traditional quinoa, both grains are unique in their ability to grow in less favorable environmental conditions and offer developing countries nutritional and economical benefits. ATRI and SURU would also improve the protein quality of food products when used as a protein source.
Session 88B, Food Chemistry: Food Composition and Analysis