Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) is a crop belonging to the Chenopodiaceae family that originated in the high Andean region of South America. Currently, the main producers of quinoa are Bolivia and Peru; this crop groups around 250 species and 3000 varieties. It has a high adaptability, which allows it to be cultivated in cold climates in the high Andean regions, as well as in subtropical conditions, and grows from sea level to more than 4000 meters above sea level. Due to its high nutritional value and nutritional properties, quinoa is considered “one of the grains of the 21st century.” It is high in protein without gluten, polyunsaturated fatty acids, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, as well as high levels of bioactive compounds such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, bioactive peptides, phytosteroid betalains, phytosterols, and saponins. From quinoa, a protein concentrate of high biological value can be extracted due to its content of the nine essential amino acids, as well as an oil with high antioxidant activity due to its high levels of tocopherols. These by-products have a high economic and commercial value and can be produced on an industrial scale for use in the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries.
Part of the book: Pseudocereals