Características nutricionais e funcionais do Amaranto (Amaranthus spp.) [Nutritional and functional characteristics of Amaranth (Amaranthus spp.)]

Nutrire 01/2007; 32(2):91-116.

ABSTRACT functional characteristics of Amaranth (Amaranthus spp.). Nutrire: rev. Soc. Bras. Alim. Nutr. = J. Brazilian Soc. Food Nutr., São Paulo, SP, v. 32, n. 2, p. 91-116, ago. 2007. Amaranth is a pseudocereal that has received a lot of interest due to its nutritional, functional and agricultural characteristics, besides its potential use in the food industry. Prior to America colonization, the amaranth grain was considered a holy seed by several pre-Colombian civilizations. It represented the third staple crop for these cultures. Amaranth is among the 36 most promising crops to feed humanity and its cultivation and consumption may increase the food supply to more vulnerable populations. Its leaves (consumed as a vegetable) and its grains (consumed as a cereal) can both be used to prepare bread, cakes, cookies, salad sauces, drinks and other foods. Both the leaf and the grain present exceptional nutritious value. The amaranth grain presents a better amino acid profile as compared to other cereal grains. It is rich in lysine and sulfur amino acids. In the lipid fraction, the high levels of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids and squalene are outstanding. The amount of dietary fiber (4% to 8%) exceeds the level observed in other cereals (around 2%). Regarding minerals, Ca, Fe, Zn, Mg and P are present in noticeable amounts. The claim that amaranth would be a functional food has resulted from studies performed with animals, which have demonstrated the grain capacity to reduce the serum cholesterol levels. It is suggested that this property would be related to synergic effects of its components: protein, dietary fiber, amino acid balance, fatty acids and squalene.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Antinutrients commonly found in plant foods have both adverse effects and health benefits. For example, phytic acid, lectins, phenolic compounds (tannins), saponins and enzyme (amylase and protease) inhibitors have been shown to reduce the availability of nutrients and cause growth inhibition, while phytoestrogens and lignans have been linked with infertility problems. However, phytic acid, lectins, phenolic compounds, amylase inhibitors and saponins have also been shown to reduce the blood glucose and insulin responses to starchy foods and/or the plasma cholesterol and triglycerides. In addition, phytic acid, phenolics, saponins, protease inhibitors, phytoestrogens and lignans have been related to reduced cancer risks. Because antinutrients can also be mitigating agents, they need re-evaluation and perhaps a change in name in the future.
    Food Research International - FOOD RES INT. 01/1993; 26(2):131-149.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Biofilms are made of biopolymers. In the casting technique, biofilms are obtained by the drying of a polymer suspension in the final stage of processing. The aim of the present paper was to analyze the effect of this drying process on the mechanical properties of films produced with amaranth flour. Variables considered include glycerol content (30, 35 and 40%, g/g dry flour) and air-drying conditions (air temperatures of 30, 40 and 50oC and relative humidities of 40, 55 and 70%). As amaranth flour films constitute a complex mixture of amylopectin and amylose as well as native protein and lipid, certain unexpected results were obtained. The toughest films were obtained at the lowest temperature and the lowest relative humidity (30 o C, 40%).
    Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering 01/2005; 22(2). · 0.89 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Amaranth (Amaranthus caudatus L.) extrusion was optimized by response surface methodology (RSM). Response (dependent) variables were: expansion ratio, shearing strength, and sensory texture acceptability. Inde-pendent variables were processing temperature and feed moisture. All other process variables (screw speed, screw compression ratio, feed speed, and die diameter) were kept constant (200 rpm, 70 g.min -1 , and 3 mm, respectively). The most expanded products also had the best texture and were obtained at 150 °C and 15% moisture. These conditions resulted in greater expansion, greater shearing force of extrudates, greater extrudate surface area per unit weight, and reduced shearing stress at maximum shearing force. This study showed that under conditions that induced the maximum expansion ratio, extrusion produced a highly acceptable snack product based on amaranth flour.
    Journal of Food Science 07/2000; 65(6):1009-1015. · 1.78 Impact Factor


Available from
May 21, 2014