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The Revival of Quinoa: A Crop for Health


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Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) is a basic food in pre‐hispanic Andean communities, used not only as a food but also for medicinal purposes. The interest in quinoa has increased because of its plasticity to adapt to environmental conditions: it tolerates frost, salinity and drought; it grows on marginal and arid soils and high altitudes. The nutritional quality of quinoa is well recognized: protein content ranges 13–17 g/100 g, with an amino acid score above 1.0 and it is gluten free. The grain contains starch and free sugars, with a glycemic index ranging 35–53, depending on the cooking time. It also contains bioactive phytochemicals such as dietary fiber, carotenoids, phytosterols, squalene, fagopyritols, ecdysteroids and polyphenols. The composition of quinoa varies among ecotypes and is affected by environmental factors: some amino acids and phytochemicals augment under stress episodes. The rationale for the revival of quinoa and its reintroduction into the diet is related with the epidemiological situation, which includes diseases that exhibit risk factors that may be reduced with a balanced nutritious diet, in which quinoa plays a major role, being considered as a “superfood.” Moreover, it is one of the crops selected by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to offer food security. Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) is a basic food in pre‐hispanic Andean communities, used not only as a food but also for medicinal purposes. The interest in quinoa has increased because of its plasticity to adapt to environmental conditions: it tolerates frost, salinity and drought; it grows on marginal and arid soils and high altitudes. The nutritional quality of quinoa is well recognized: protein content ranges 13–17 g/100 g, with an amino acid score above 1.0 and it is gluten free. The grain contains starch and free sugars, with a glycemic index ranging 35–53, depending on the cooking time. It also contains bioactive phytochemicals such as dietary fiber, carotenoids, phytosterols, squalene, fagopyritols, ecdysteroids and polyphenols. The composition of quinoa varies among ecotypes and is affected by environmental factors: some amino acids and phytochemicals augment under stress episodes. The rationale for the revival of quinoa and its reintroduction into the diet is related with the epidemiological situation, which includes diseases that exhibit risk factors that may be reduced with a balanced nutritious diet, in which quinoa plays a major role, being considered as a “superfood.” Moreover, it is one of the crops selected by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to offer food security.
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Chapter 3
The Revival of Quinoa: A Crop for Health
Mariane Lutz and Luisa Bascuñán‐Godoy
Additional information is available at the end of the chapter
Provisional chapter
The Revival of Quinoa: A Crop for Health
Mariane Lutz and Luisa Bascuñán-Godoy
Additional information is available at the end of the chapter
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) is a basic food in pre-hispanic Andean communi-
ties, used not only as a food but also for medicinal purposes. The interest in quinoa has
increased because of its plasticity to adapt to environmental conditions: it tolerates frost,
salinity and drought; it grows on marginal and arid soils and high altitudes. The
nutritional quality of quinoa is well recognized: protein content ranges 1317 g/100 g,
with an amino acid score above 1.0 and it is gluten free. The grain contains starch and
free sugars, with a glycemic index ranging 3553, depending on the cooking time. It also
contains bioactive phytochemicals such as dietary fiber, carotenoids, phytosterols, squa-
lene, fagopyritols, ecdysteroids and polyphenols. The composition of quinoa varies
among ecotypes and is affected by environmental factors: some amino acids and phyto-
chemicals augment under stress episodes. The rationale for the revival of quinoa and its
reintroduction into the diet is related with the epidemiological situation, which includes
diseases that exhibit risk factors that may be reduced with a balanced nutritious diet, in
which quinoa plays a major role, being considered as a superfood.Moreover, it is one
of the crops selected by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to offer food security.
Keywords: quinoa, Chenopodium quinoa Willd., ancient crop, nutritional quality, chem-
ical composition, bioactives, health, crop plasticity
1. Introduction
Since 1998, the WHO has considered obesity as an epidemic affecting the globe, a condition
related to more deaths than undernutrition in the whole planet. Obesity is associated with
various noncommunicable diseases (NCD) such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabe-
tes, among others. Globally, two out of three deaths each year are attributable to NCD. In this
context, it is very important to take into account some alimentary traditions and the social
value of food practices that have been lost with time. Most of the traditional culinary practices,
beliefs, attitudes and meanings of certain foods have been neglected and traditional crops have
been left aside, missing the food cultural practices of different regions.
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© 2017 The Author(s). Licensee InTech. This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons
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distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
An outstanding food crop that has been almost lost is quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willdenow),
a South American dicotyledonous primary crop (an indehiscent achene: a seed-like fruit with a
hard coat) that has become an extremely popular food product in the last decades. The seeds
(approximately 2.5 mm in length and 1.0 mm in diameter) are flat white, yellow, red, brown
and black, whereas the seed coats have a brown color and possess excellent nutritional prop-
erties (Figures 1 and 2).
1.1. Quinoa plant: origin and botanical properties
Chenopodium quinoa Willd. is an annual gynomonoecious plant with an erect stem, alternate
leaves and flowers clustered together to form the inflorescence in a panicle that measures from
15 to 70 cm long [1]. The basic chromosome number of quinoa is x= 9 and their somatic
chromosome number is 2n=4x=36, suggesting that it is an allotetraploid plant [2]. Measure-
ments of chromosome arm length ratios in quinoa indicate an allopolyploid, which is consis-
tent with it high degree of self-fertility and low levels of inbreeding depression seen in this
species [3].
Figure 1. Chilean quinoa plants.
Superfood and Functional Food - An Overview of Their Processing and Utilization38
Quinoa was one of the basic foods in pre-Hispanic communities of the Andean Region, grown
for over 7000 years mainly in the current locations of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina
and Colombia, from 2° North latitude (Colombia) to 47° South latitude (Chile) [46]. The
name refers to the mother grainby the Andean people and it was used not only as a food
but also for medicinal purposes. The colonists suppressed its cultivation and the remaining
crops that survived were cultivated practically hidden in small areas [7]. The locals have
preserved quinoa in its natural state, including its many varieties, as food for present and
future generations.
Quinoa represents a cultural heritage in many Latin-American countries. It has survived from
extinction in different agroecological zones, ranging from the extremely dry Altiplano high-
lands at 4000 m above sea level with average rainfall of 150 mm per year to coastal zones of
central and southern Chile, where soils are clayish and rainfall is above 1000 mm/year [8]. It
spread throughout the central and north-central Andean valleys and southwards into the
Araucanian coastal region and adjacent Patagonia, diversifying into its five principal ecotypes.
The crop is produced mainly in Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador, with efforts to cultivate it world-
wide and the diversity has been described by five major ecotypes linked to the geographical
region: Altiplano (Peru and Bolivia), Inter-Andean valleys (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and
Peru), Salt lands (Bolivia, Chile and Argentina), Yunga (Peru, Bolivia and Argentina) and
Coastal (Chile) [9, 10].
Figure 2. Collected seeds of quinoa.
The Revival of Quinoa: A Crop for Health
Miranda et al. [11] observed genetic differentiation among the geographic distribution of
quinoa genotypes, which were expressed in morphological, yield responses, chemical compo-
sition and functional properties in a common garden assay of six selected genotypes. Using
this model, the high capacity of adaptation of the seeds to different environments has been
demonstrated [12]. Moreover, these properties of quinoa seeds allow this crop to be used
under environmental extreme conditions in countries facing challenges such as drought and
salinity under very diverse agroclimatic conditions globally [1].
There are currently more than 6000 varieties of quinoa cultivated by farmers [13]. Due to the
wide range of genotypes (including 250 varieties), the possibilities of adaptation to many
abiotic stresses abroad have increased significantly the interest of quinoa cultivation [14]. The
plant exhibits an enormous adaptability to different environments, including the harsh condi-
tions that characterize much of the Andean zone. Therefore, the production has spread
through many different countries, including Japan, Australia, Spain, Germany, England, Swe-
den, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Finland, Kenya, Ethiopia, India, the USA, Can-
ada, among others. Many reports indicate that quinoa is an interesting alternative crop for the
use of deteriorated and poor soils [5] and it has been successfully tested in various countries in
Asia, the Near East and North Africa [6]. In fact, the enormous plasticity of quinoa includes
tolerance to frost, salinity and drought, it has the ability to grow on marginal and arid soils and
is also adapted to high altitudes [1518]. The strong tolerance to drought and salinity allows it
to resist the current and future challenges of the global climate change, including water
shortage [15]. The plant adapts well to climates ranging from desert dry weather to relative
humidity from 40 to 88%, with temperatures from 4°C to 38°C.
Several genotypes of quinoa are able to maintain a high photosynthetic efficiency under water-
deficit conditions [19, 20] and to quickly reestablish photosynthesis after a period of rehydra-
tion [2124]. Quinoa shows an extraordinary physiology of adaptation to stress, particularly its
highly efficient use of water [8], that is, the quantity of grain obtained per liter of water used is
another useful criterion for comparing quinoa with cereals. Martinez [25] reported 500 L water
per kilogram quinoa, a significantly lower water-use footprint compared with rice (2497 L/kg)
or maize (1222 L/kg), figures that are even greater if one considers also quantity of protein per
kilogram. Crop production is acceptable with rain amounts of 100200 mm [26]. The drought
tolerance of quinoa has been attributed to a reduction in leaf area [23, 24, 27], the presence of
calcium oxalate vesicles in leaves, which could reduce the transpiration rate [22, 28] and their
branched and dense root system, which is able to penetrate into 1.5 m sandy soil [22, 27].
Regarding the metabolism of quinoa during periods of drought stress, it has been suggested
that the induction of antioxidant molecules related with nitrogen metabolism is very important
[29]. In fact, drought increases the amount of glutamine in quinoa leaves, which is the main
form in which nitrogen is translocated to the grains [30]. Therefore, drought stress episodes
increase the content of various amino acids, including Phe, Val, Trp and Met. These changes in
quality could compensate the decline of the seed yield under stressful conditions. It has been
suggested that the ornithine cycle and induction of amino acids could play a key role in the
response to water scarcity and subsequent restoration under conditions of rehydration [29, 30].
Moreover, the aromatic amino acids Phe, Tyr and Trp are the main precursors of bioactive
Superfood and Functional Food - An Overview of Their Processing and Utilization40
secondary metabolites,including the biosynthesis of flavonoids and alkaloids [31], most of which
exhibit healthy properties [32]. The physiological relationship between the induction of amino
acid synthesis and the production of healthy secondary metabolites is under investigation.
2. Quinoa: a traditional crop and a superfood
2.1. Nutrients in quinoa
The proximate analysis of quinoa seeds is shown in Table 1.
Quinoa proteins are recognized for their high amount [18, 3340] and good quality, which was
reported for the first time by White et al. in the 1950s [41], who described that the quality of
quinoa protein was equal to that of whole dried milk protein when fed to rats. Later, it was
reported that pigs fed cooked quinoa grewas well as those fed dried skimmed milk [42]. Proteins
exhibit a high content of Lys (4.8 g/100 g) and Thr (3.7 g/100 g), which are in general the limiting
amino acids in conventional cereals [43], along with a good albumin/globulin balance and an
amino acid score above 1.0 [38, 4446]. The excellent quality of protein is maintained even taking
into account that the amino acid profile is affected by environmental factors [47].
Several methods to obtain protein isolates have been described [35, 48], consisting mainly of
11S globulins and 2S albumins, the main contributor of sulfur amino acids Cys and Met, which
are limiting in legumes and they also contain interesting amounts of Arg [49]. Also, various
high protein-rich fractions of interest can be obtained for the food industry [50]. An additional
nutritional advantage of quinoa is that it may be consumed by celiac patients, since it is
considered a gluten-free grain because it contains low concentrations of prolamins [51] and
has a distant phylogenetic link with gluten containing cereals such as gramineas (wheat,
barley and rye). In spite of this, the ability of quinoa cultivars to stimulate gliadin-specific T
cell lines and other immune responses is still under investigation [52].
Quinoa seeds have moderate lipid content (59 g/100 g), with an interesting fatty acids profile.
Compared with rice oil, quinoa oil contains over 20 times more unsaturated fatty acids. The
main saturated fatty acid is palmitic (16:0, around 10%), whereas the main unsaturated fatty
[18] [34] [36] [37]
[38] [39] [40]
Protein 16.8 12.9 13.1 14.7 12.8 14.1 16.5 12.6
Carbohydrates 51.4 63.7 59.9 59.1 68.4 57.2 69.0 67.3
Lipids 5.9 6.5 5.7 6.4 6.2 6.1 6.4 5.7
Fiber 12.1 13.9 11.7 1.9* 1.5* 7.0 1.9* 3.0*
*Expressed as Crude Fiber.
var. Regalona.
var. Ancovinto.
Table 1. Proximate analysis of quinoa seeds (mean values, g/100 g DW).
The Revival of Quinoa: A Crop for Health
Superfood and Functional Food - An Overview of Their Processing and Utilization42
Quinoa leaves also contain a high level of phenolics [80], which exhibit anticarcinogenic effects
in vitro, linked with inhibitory effects on the proliferation, motility and cellular competence of
cancer cells [81]. However, the effects depend on the technological processes and the food
matrix in which quinoa grains or leaves are included. For instance, Swieka et al. [82] formu-
lated supplemented bread with phenol-rich quinoa leaves and observed an improvement of
the antioxidant activity of the product obtained, although not as high as expected, probably
due to the blocking of reactive groups of phenolic compounds by bread components. Some
phenolic compounds in quinoa also inhibit α-amylase and α-glucosidase activities, enzymes
involved in the breakdown of starch and derivatives, which allows for better control of
intestinal glucose absorption and therefore of postprandial glycemia [68, 83]. Moreover, qui-
noa seeds are also a source of a different kind of phenolics: isoflavones, among which the main
are genistein and daidzein [66]. These molecules are usually named as phytoestrogens,due
to their structural similarity with β-estradiol (an estrogen) and exhibit a wide range of benefi-
cial effects [84].
Among the secondary metabolites, betalains are quantitatively important in several geno-
types of quinoa. In fact, quinoa belongs to one of the 13 families of betalain producers [32].
These chromoalkaloids are water-soluble pigments containing nitrogen and include the red-
violet betacyanins and the yellow betaxanthins. Studies performed with several genotypes of
quinoa indicate that contrastingly with the Amaranthus genus, where the principal betalains
are amaranthine and isoamaranthine, in quinoa, the main compounds are betanin and
isobetanin [85]. Recently, it has been proposed that betanin is a good scavenger of reactive
oxygen species and prevents low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation and DNA damage
Another type of secondary metabolites in quinoa is phytoecdysteroids (polyhydroxylated
steroids), structurally related to insect molting hormones, that have been implicated in plant
defense since they protect them against nonadapted insects and nematodes [87]. The seeds
contain ecdysteroids in amounts ranging from 450 to 1300 μg/g [88]. The main form is 20-
hydroxyecdysone (30 μg/g) and several minors have been reported in a range of 39μg/g,
including makisterone A, 24-epi-makisterone A, 24,28-dehydro-makisterone A and 20,26-
dihydroxyecdysone [89]. Dini et al. [43] showed that quinoa flour contains both 20-
hydroxyecdysone and kancollosterone and Nsimba et al. [73] described the presence of a
new set of ecdysteroids. The ecdysteroid content of quinoa seeds from different sources
shows significant variations. These molecules are rather stable during food processing,
representing an intake of 20-hydroxyecdysone that may have positive effects on human
health (Figure 3) [65].
A characteristic feature of quinoa grains is the presence of saponins (triterpenoid glycosides) in
the outer layer. These secondary metabolites are utilized by the plant as a predator repellent
and exhibit a series of pharmacological properties [90, 91] and impart a bitter taste. Conse-
quently, saponins are reduced for debittering by various methods that remove the hulls
(abrasive processes, washing). The amount in the grains depends on the cultivar and can be
classified into sweet(<0.11%) or bitter(>0.11%) [92].
The Revival of Quinoa: A Crop for Health
Although all the grains exhibit excellent nutritional properties, it is necessary to take into
consideration that the chemical composition of quinoa varies among ecotypes, that is,
according to groups of cultivars and/or landraces defined according to distributional, ecolog-
ical, agronomic and morphological criteria due to strong genetic variability in addition to
environmental differences in the Andean region [93]. Moreover, the nutritional composition
Figure 3. Bioactive molecules in quinoa.
Superfood and Functional Food - An Overview of Their Processing and Utilization44
varies in relation with the environmental stress factors and several research groups have
described changes in nutritional aspects of seeds as a result of environmental stress episodes.
For instance, Panuccio et al. [94] reported that under high salt conditions, phenolic content and
antioxidant capacity of quinoa seeds increased. Miranda et al. [11] compared two Chilean
genotypes grown under arid and cold-humid environments, showing that in cold rainy zones
the size and weight of the seeds increased, whereas under hot arid conditions, phenolic
compounds and components of proximate analysis (except proteins) increased.
The quality and amount of protein in the seed has also led to the search of bioactive peptides,
among which antihypertensive angiotensin I converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory peptides
has been demonstrated [9597]. On the other hand, protein ingredients not only provide
nutrition but also good technological properties to facilitate food processing. The technological
functional properties of quinoa proteins are well recognized, since they provide emulsifying
capacity and emulsion stability, which affect foods by acting on the membrane matrix that
surrounds the oil drop in an emulsion, preventing its coalescence [98]. Moreover, quinoa
proteins show a high foaming capacity and stability [99].
The nutritional properties of quinoa and specifically the high quantity and quality of protein,
allow the use of protein isolates in the formulation of various foods. A series of patents have
been described in relation with their production, processing and uses. Just to mention a couple
of examples, patent US 7563473 B2 relates to quinoa protein concentrate(QPC), which
contains at least about 50 wt% protein which is food grade and/or pharmaceutical grade and
methods of preparing such protein concentrates as well as starch, oil and fiber from quinoa
grain, whereas patent US 20100196569 A1 involves grain products having a reduced bitter
flavor with a sweet taste or crunchy texture, among many others. Another line of work is
related with the multiple industrial uses of the saponins obtained from quinoa grains, includ-
ing their processing, for example, in the pharmaceutical industry as immunological adjuvants,
to stimulate nonspecific immunity, as well as to enhance an immunological response to a
selected antigen and to enhance mucosal absorption of some drugs. As such given examples,
many other uses of quinoa seeds and coproducts have been described.
The grain shows a high versatility for culinary uses, but other parts may also be used in
cooking: the parts of the plant that have been used as food ingredients include the seed, leaves,
stems and roots. The mostly used form of quinoa is the cooked grain (soups, stews), followed
by various other forms such as toasted seeds, tender leaves (soups, crepes, pancakes, tortillas),
flour (bakery products such as breads, biscuits, cookies, muffins), as well as nutrition bars,
granolas, confections and various beverages, fermented or not. Quinoa grains and by-products
(e.g. hay) are also used for animal feed.
The nutritional quality of quinoa grains is well recognized, even by agencies such as the
National Research Council and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
[100], which included quinoa as part of the controlled ecological life support system (CELSS).
As described, this ancient crop is nutritious and healthy, with high adaptability that can
withstand food processing and can also be used as a replacement for allergenic nuts and seeds.
It can support sustainable production and FAO selected it as one of the crops destined to offer
food security, by promoting quinoa as part of a FAO strategy to encourage the cultivation of
traditional crops [101].
The Revival of Quinoa: A Crop for Health
3. Conclusion
The rationale for the reintroduction of quinoa into the diet is strongly related with the
epidemiological situation prevailing, which is similar in many nations around the world:
growing rates of child obesity, high prevalence of obesity during/after pregnancy in women,
high rates of NCD such as cardiovascular, diabetes, cancer, which are associated with the
major causes of death. From the nutritional point of view, quinoa represents an excellent
source of nutrients and bioactive phytochemicals that contribute to a healthy diet and, on
the other hand, supplies good quality protein to support children's healthy growth. The
chemical composition of different cultivars is outstanding, although it may be affected by
the environmental and climatic factors. Taking into account all its properties, quinoa is
currently promoted as an extremely healthy food (superfood), the so-called food of the
twenty-first century.
The authors thank the Research Office of the Universidad de Valparaíso (DIUV) for supporting
CIDAF (CID 04/06).
Author details
Mariane Lutz
* and Luisa Bascuñán-Godoy
*Address all correspondence to:
1 CIDAF, Center for Research and Development of Functional Foods, School of Chemistryand
Pharmacy, University of Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile
2 CEAZA, Center for Advanced Studies on Arid Zones, Chile and Multidicipilinary Studies
Center on Science and Technology, University of La Serena, La Serena, Chile
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... The present study focused on the isolation, screening and characterization of rhizospheric bacteria isolated from quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa). This ancient grain crop is differentiated from other plants in terms of abiotic stress resistance due to its ability to grow in saline, arid and water-deficient conditions, as well as the regeneration potential of its broken seeds 62 . Microbes belonging to the genus Bacillus are known for their vertical transmission from one generation to the other; thus, it can be assumed that the presence of specific microbial diversity associated with quinoa may be a factor in its survival. ...
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Microorganisms can interact with plants to promote plant growth and act as biocontrol agents. Associations with plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) enhance agricultural productivity by improving plant nutrition and enhancing protection from pathogens. Microbial applications can be an ideal substitute for pesticides or fungicides, which can pollute the environment and reduce biological diversity. In this study, we isolated 68 bacterial strains from the root-adhering soil of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) seedlings. Bacterial strains exhibited several PGPR activities in vitro, including nutrient solubilization, production of lytic enzymes (cellulase, pectinase and amylase) and siderophore synthesis. These bacteria were further found to suppress the mycelial growth of the fungal pathogen Alternaria alternata. Nine bacterial strains were selected with substantial antagonistic activity and plant growth-promotion potential. These strains were identified based on their 16S rRNA gene sequences and selected for in planta experiments with tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) to estimate their growth-promotion and disease-suppression activity. Among the selected strains, B. licheniformis and B. pumilus most effectively promoted tomato plant growth, decreased disease severity caused by A. alternata infection by enhancing the activities of antioxidant defense enzymes and contributed to induced systemic resistance. This investigation provides evidence for the effectiveness and viability of PGPR application, particularly of B. licheniformis and B. pumilus in tomato, to promote plant growth and induce systemic resistance, making these bacteria promising candidates for biofertilizers and biocontrol agents.
... Quinoa has exceptional nutritional grain value containing high protein contents and balanced amino acids while its enduring potential for abiotic stress tolerance makes it future potential crop both for nutritional and food security [1][2][3]. Since last decade, quinoa cultivation has spread into non-native geographical areas of Plants 2022, 11, 371 2 of 13 world due to wide diversity of its ecotypes especially photoperiod response adaptation to specific agro-climatic conditions [1,2]. Nonetheless, quinoa growth and development are affected by environmental and genetic variations. ...
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Quinoa is a climate resilience potential crop for food security due to high nutritive value. However, crop variable response to nitrogen (N) use efficiency may lead to affect grain quality and yield. This study compared the performance of contrasting quinoa genotypes (UAF Q-7, EMS-line and JQH1) to fertilizer urea enriched with urease and nitrification inhibitors (NIs; 1% (w/w) thiourea + boric acid + sodium thiosulphate), ordinary urea and with no N as control. Application of NIs-enriched urea improved plant growth, N uptake and chlorophyll values in quinoa genotype UAF-Q7 and JHQ1, however, highest nitrate reductase (NR) activity was observed in EMS-line. Quinoa plants supplied with NIs-enriched urea also completed true and multiple leaf stage, bud formation, flowering, and maturity stages earlier than ordinary urea and control, nevertheless, all quinoa genotypes reached true and multiple leaf stage, flowering and maturity stages at same time. Among photosynthetic efficiency traits, application of NIs-enriched urea expressed highest photosynthetic active radiations (PAR), electron transport rate (ETR), current fluorescence (Ft) and reduced quantum yield (Y) in EMS line. Nitrogen treatments had no significant difference for panicle length, however, among genotypes, UAF-Q7 showed highest length of panicle followed by others. Among yield attributes, NIs-enriched urea expressed maximum 1000-seed weight and seed yield per plant in JQH-1 hybrid and EMS-line. Likely, an increase in quinoa grain protein contents was observed in JQH-1 hybrid for NIs-enriched urea. In conclusion, NIs-enriched urea with urease and nitrification inhibitors simultaneously can be used to improve the N uptake, seed yield and grain protein contents in quinoa, however, better crop response was attributed to enhanced plant growth and photosynthetic efficiency.
... Quinoa is rich in phenolic compounds, carotenoids, phytosterols, phytoecdysteroids, saponins, betalains, squalene and phagopyritols (Lutz & Bascuñán, 2017). Phenolic acids and flavonoids contained in quinoa are in the main phenolic group. ...
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Review Article Many herbs in traditional and modern medicine comprise saponins, which are generally responsible for the therapeutic properties they possess. Many saponins are known to show biological activities such as antiviral, antidiabetic, and cytotoxic properties. These substances and plants containing them are becoming more and more attractive for pharmacological research purposes. Quinoa seed, which contains various phytochemicals and antioxidant substances, is one of the grain groups on which research has been conducted and the mechanisms of its effects are intended for clarification. This study aims to explain the effects of its consumption on health by giving information about the chemical composition of quinoa seeds and by showing scientific data as an example. The results obtained in the literature studies have determined that quinoa has an important potential to be used as a food supplement, in pharmacology, and in the production of new food products, thanks to the positive effects of its consumption on health.
... Chenopodium quinoa is a pseudo-cereal crop of the Amaranthaceae family, native to the Andean region of South America. Quinoa is an important crop due to its high protein content and resilience to a range of stressful conditions (Bascuñán-Godoy et al., 2016;Lutz and Bascuñán-Godoy, 2017). In Chile, it occurs naturally in the Atacama Desert Fuentes and Bhargava, 2011), where extreme climatic conditions, including heat, drought, and soil salinity (Houston and Hartley, 2003) are key constraints to plant growth and distribution. ...
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Symbiotic associations with microbes can contribute to mitigating abiotic environmental stress in plants. In this study, we investigated individual and interactive effects of two root endophytic fungal species on physiological and biochemical mechanisms of the crop Chenopodium quinoa in response to salinity. Fungal endophytes Talaromyces minioluteus and Penicillium murcianum, isolated from quinoa plants that occur naturally in the Atacama Desert, were used for endophyte inoculation. A greenhouse experiment was developed using four plant groups: (1) plants inoculated with T. minioluteus (E1C), (2) plants inoculated with P. murcianum (E2C), (3) plants inoculated with both fungal species (E1E2C), and (4) non-inoculated plants (E-). Plants from each group were then assigned to either salt (300 mM) or control (no salt) treatments. Differences in morphological traits, photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, transpiration, superoxide dismutase (SOD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), peroxidase, (POD), phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), phenolic content, and lipid peroxidation between plant groups under each treatment were examined. We found that both endophyte species significantly improved morphological and physiological traits, including plant height, number of shoots, photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, and transpiration, in C. quinoa in response to salt, but optimal physiological responses were observed in E1E2C plants. Under saline conditions, endophyte inoculation improved SOD, APX, and POD activity by over 50%, and phenolic content by approximately 30%, with optimal enzymatic responses again observed in E1E2C plants. Lipid peroxidation was significantly lower in inoculated plants than in non-inoculated plants. Results demonstrate that both endophyte species enhanced the ability of C. quinoa to cope with salt stress by improving antioxidative enzyme and non-enzyme systems. In general, both FE species interacting in tandem yielded better morphological, physiological, and biochemical responses to salinity in quinoa than inoculation by a single species in isolation. Our study highlights the importance of stress-adapted FE as a biological agent for mitigating abiotic stress in crop plants.
Climate change is threatening human activities, but the combination of water scarcity and heat waves are particularly challenging agriculture. Accumulating literature shows that beneficial fungal endophytes improve plant performance, a condition that seems to be magnified in presence of stress. Because evidence points out to an endophytic mediation of antioxidant activity in plants, we here focused on flavonoids for two main reasons: (i) they are involved in plant tolerance to abiotic stress, and (ii) they are known to be healthy for human consumption. With these two premises as guidance, we explored the literature trying to link mechanistically the relationship between endophytes and plant responses to stress as well as identifying patterns and knowledge gaps. Overall, fungal endophytes improve plant growth and tolerance to environmental stresses. However, evidence for endophytes boosting flavonoid mediated responses in plants is relatively scarce. Reports showing endophytes promoting flavonoid contents in grains and fresh fruits are rather limited which may be related to (long) length of the required experiments for testing it. The use of endophytes isolated from extreme environments (e.g., dry and cold deserts, acid lakes, etc.) is proposed to be better in conferring tolerance to plants under very stressful conditions. However, the real challenge is to test the capacity of these endophytes to established and maintain persistent and functional symbiosis under productive conditions. In summary, there is a clear potential for symbiotically modifying crop plants as a strategy to develop more tolerant varieties to face the stress and eventually increase the quality of the agricultural products.
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Meme kanseri başta kadınlar olmak üzere dünyada en çok görülen malignitelerden biridir. Resmi kayıtlara göre 2012 yılında dünya çapında 1.67 milyon insanın meme kanseri ile mücadele ettiği ve meme kanserinden ölen insan sayısının 520.000’e ulaştığı tespit edilmiştir [1]. Meme kanserinin aile öyküsü, meslek, genetik, üreme ve hormonal faktörlerle ilişkili olduğu gösterilmiştir [2]. Son günlerde yapılan çalışmalarda; iyi huylu ya da malign tiroid hastalıkları ile iyi huylu ya da kötü huylu tiroid hastalıklarının ilişkisi, bazı epidemiyolojik çalışmalarda vurgulanmıştır [3]. Tiroid hastalığı ile meme kanseri riski arasındaki bağlantı, meme epitel hücresi büyümesini düzenleyen tiroid hormonlarının rolünü gösteren çalışmalarla ortaya çıkmıştır [4]. Yapılan çalışmalarda meme kanserine sahip kadınlar; sağlıklı kontrollerle kıyaslandığında tiroid peroksidaz antikoru seviyesinin daha yüksek olduğu gözlemlenmiştir [5]. Tiroid bezi, uygun metabolik fonksiyon, hücre farklılaşması ve kalsiyum dengesinden sorumlu hormonlar üretmektedir. Tiroid hormonları triiyodotironin (T3) ve tetraiyodotironin (T4), bir tiroid hormon reseptörüne (TR) bağlanarak çeşitli organları ve dokuları etkilemektedir [3]. Tang ve arkadaşları tiroid hormonlarının meme bezi dokusundaki östrojen reseptörlerini aktive ederek çoğaltıcı bir etkiye sahip olduğunu göstermiştir [6]. Bu, tiroid hastalıklarının meme kanseri gelişimini destekleyebileceğini düşündürmektedir. Son yıllarda tiroid disfonksiyonu ve meme kanseri riski ile ilişkisi üzerine çeşitli çalışmalar yayınlanmıştır (7,8-10). Sogaard ve arkadaşları, hipertiroidili kadınlarda meme kanseri gelişme riskinin arttığını ve hipotiroidizmi olan kadınlarda meme kanseri gelişme riskinin daha düşük olduğunu göstermiştir [8]. idemiyolojik sonuçların aksine, birçok deneysel çalışmanın bulguları tiroid hastalıkları ile meme kanseri arasında moleküler düzeyde ilişkiler olduğunu düşündürmektedir. Kanser, çeşitli fiziksel, zamansal ve biyolojik ölçeklerde çok sayıda biyolojik etkileşimi içeren karmaşık bir hastalıktır. Bu karmaşıklık, kanser biyolojisinin karakterizasyonu için önemsenecek derecede zorluklar sunmaktadır ve araştırmacıları moleküler, hücresel ve fizyolojik sistemler bağlamında kanser çalışmasına teşvik eder. Hem biyolojik keşiflere hem de klinik tıbba yardımcı olmak için hesaplamalı kanser modelleri geliştirilmektedir. Bunların silico modellerinde geliştirilmesi, bilgi açısından zengin, yüksek verimli biyolojik veriler üreten deneysel ve analitik araçların hızla gelişmesiyle kolaylaşmaktadır. Genomik, transkriptomik ve yol seviyelerindeki istatistiksel kanser modellerinin, tanısal ve prognostik moleküler imzaların geliştirilmesinde ve ayrıca bozulmuş yolakların belirlenmesinde etkili olduğu kanıtlanmıştır [11]. Bu çalışmada, bilgisayar mühendisliği araçları ve biyoinformatik araçları kullanarak yapısal ve işlevsel verileri analiz ettik. Ayrıca, makine öğrenimi tekniklerini kullanarak, meme kanseri ile tiroid kanseri arasındaki ilişkiyi dizi tabanlı analiz ve tahmin ederek gösterdi
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Abstract Grain-based food products constitute an important part of the daily diet. Throughout history cereals have been an important source of protein, dietary fiber, bioactive compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, and they still maintain their importance today. Cereal-based foods such as bread and porridge were already an important part of the human diet in prehistoric times. There is strong evidence that prehistoric man was able to prepare gruel from grain and water. Nowadays, there is now a renewed interest in foods based on ancient grains, as consumers often consider such foods to be healthy and sustainable. Due to the increasing demands for adaptation and the urgent need to preserve genetic diversity, interest in ancient grains is increasing day by day in farmers and the food industry. However, in the narrowest sense “grains that have not changed genetically in the last few hundred years” is defined as whereas; in the most general sense, it can be defined as “certain types of cereal grains, pseudocerealsand pulses that have been traditionally grown and consumed for hundreds of years and have undergone a relatively limited genetic change”. The importance of genetic resources derived from ancient grains has also been emphasized by many authors as they can adapt to changing environmental conditions resulting from global climate change. In this review, information about the compositional properties of ancient grains and their potential effects on human health and their current use (potential) has been tried to be summarized. Keywords: Ancient grains, nutrient composition, pulses, wholegrain
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Conference Paper
Tüketiciler, daha sağlıklı yaşam tarzı oluşturmaya ve uygun beslenme alışkanlıkları kazanmaya odaklanmıştır. Günümüzde sağlıkla ilgili risklerin artması nedeniyle insan beslenmesi için potansiyel olarak kullanılabilecek bitki çeşitliliğinden giderek daha az tür kullanılmaktadır. Son zamanlarda yapılan birçok çalışma, tahıl bazlı glutensiz ürünlerin beslenme kalitesinde bir iyileştirme ihtiyacının olduğunun altını çizmiştir. Tahıl benzeri tohumlar (pseudo-tahıllar; tahılımsılar), yüzlerce yıldır eski toplumlar tarafından tüketilmektedir. Tahıl familyasına ait olmayan ancak bunlara benzer özellik ve kullanımlara sahip olan bu bitkiler, az tüketilen besinler arasında öne çıkmaktadır. En yaygın olarak bilinenleri kinoa, amarant, chia ve karabuğdaydır. Gluten içermemelerinin yanı sıra yüksek değerli proteinler ve peptitler ile flavonoidler, fenolik asitler, yağ asitleri, vitaminler ve mineraller gibi diğer besleyici ve biyoaktif bileşiklerce oldukça zengindirler. Antikanser, antioksidan, antiinflamatuar, hipokolesterolemik, antidiyabetik ve antihipertansif özellikleri de bulunan tahıl benzeri tohumlara gün geçtikçe ilgi artmaktadır. Bu çalışmada, sağlık yararlarından dolayı; özellikle de çölyak hastaları için glutensiz gıda kaynağı olarak kullanım potansiyeli oldukça yüksek olan pseudo-tahıllar hakkında bilgiler verilmiştir.
The aim of this chapter is to describe the potential effects of climate changes in Southeast European (SEE) countries, and the implications on agricultural production. Adaptation measures to mitigate these effects could be to introduce new crops tolerant to various stress factors, such as drought, saline soils, and varying temperatures. Quinoa is a plant that has great potential for growing in such unfavorable conditions. In the presented review, we explain the origin, importance, and application of quinoa in agriculture with special emphasis on its nutritional and health significance as well as the mechanisms of resistance to stress factors. The opportunities for quinoa breeding in SEE are presented on the basis of data from Greece, Romania, Serbia, North Macedonia, and Turkey, varying depending on local agroclimatic conditions. The nutritional composition of the quinoa seeds is of very high value also when grown under rain-fed conditions in Serbia. There were good results from adding quinoa to wheat bread. Conclusions are that although the quinoa market in SEE is not as large as in other European countries, it is growing very intensively, and the food industry is developing new quinoa products. Thus, the prospects for future quinoa production in SEE countries are promising.
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Chenopodium quinoa Willd., a high quality grain crop, is resistant to abiotic stresses (drought, cold, and salt) and offers an optimal source of protein. Quinoa represents a symbol of crop genetic diversity across the Andean region. In recent years, this crop has undergone a major expansion outside its countries of origin. The activities carried out within the framework of the International Year of Quinoa provided a great contribution to raise awareness on the multiple benefits of quinoa as well as to its wider cultivation at the global level. FAO is actively involved in promoting and evaluating the cultivation of quinoa in 26 countries outside the Andean region with the aim to strengthen food and nutrition security. The main goal of this research is to evaluate the adaptability of selected quinoa genotypes under different environments outside the Andean region. This paper presents the preliminary results from nine countries. Field evaluations were conducted during 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 in Asia (Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan), and the Near East and North African countries (Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Mauritania, and Yemen). In each country, the trials were carried out in different locations that globally represent the diversity of 19 agrarian systems under different agro-ecological conditions. Twenty-one genotypes of quinoa were tested using the same experimental protocol in all locations consisting in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replicates. Some genotypes showed higher yields and the Q18 and Q12 landraces displayed greater adaptation than others to new environmental conditions. The Q21 and Q26 landraces were evaluated with stable and satisfactory levels of yield (>1 t.ha −1) in each of the different trial sites. This production stability is of considerable importance especially under climate change uncertainty. While these results suggest that this Andean crop is able to grow in many different environments, social and cultural considerations remain crucial regarding its possible introduction as a staple food in new cropping systems around the world.
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Chenopodium quinoa Willd, known as quinoa, has been cultivated and consumed by humans for the last 5,000-7,000 years. Quinoa was important to pre-Columbian Andean civilizations, as the Incas considered it a gift from their gods. Quinoa has potential health benefits and exceptional nutritional value: a high concentration of protein (all essential amino acids highly bioavailable), unsaturated fatty acids, a low glycemic index; vitamins, minerals and other beneficial compounds; it is also gluten-free; furthermore, quinoa is a sustainable food, as plants exhibit a carbon and water food print that is between 30 and 60 times lower than that of beef. Quinoa is easy to cook, has versatility in preparation, and could be cultivated in different environments. For these reasons, quinoa, previously considered a food of low social prestige, is now the focus of attention of many countries worldwide. However, few studies exist on quinoa or quinoa compounds, in vitro, in vivo and clinical trials, for assessing its potential clinical applications supported by strong scientific evidence; thus, there is a need for well-designed clinical trials and increased scientific research in this field.
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Combination of dry and aqueous fractionation is investigated to obtain protein-rich fractions from quinoa in a milder and more sustainable way compared to conventional wet fractionation. Dry fractionation of quinoa involved milling and subsequent air classification, generating a protein-enriched embryo fraction. Subsequently, this fraction was milled, suspended, and further fractionated by aqueous phase separation. The efficiency of aqueous phase separation could be improved by addition of NaCl (0.5 M). Finally, the top aqueous phase was decanted and ultrafiltered, resulting in a protein purity of 59.4 w/dw% for the 0.5 M NaCl-protein solution and a protein yield (gram protein obtained/gram protein in seed) of 62.0 %. Having used 98 % less water compared to conventional wet extraction, the hybrid dry and aqueous fractionation is a promising method for industry to create value from quinoa in a more economic and sustainable friendly way while minimizing the impact on quinoa’s native protein functionality.
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BACKGROUND: Quinoa is a good source of protein and can be used as a nutritional ingredient in food products. This study analyses how much growing region and/or seasonal climate might affect grain yield and nutritional quality of quinoa seeds.
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This study was focused on the optimum conditions for preparing the protein isolate of quinoa seeds and investigates the physicochemical and functional properties of the isolated protein to assess the potential use of quinoa protein isolate in food applications and manufacturing. The protein isolate of quinoa was obtained by protein solubility at alkaline pH value (10), followed by precipitation at an acidic pH value (4.5). SDS–PAGE showed protein bands with 55KDa corresponding to globulin and 31–33KDa corresponding to chenoprotein in all extraction pHs. Quinoa protein had reasonable concentrations of essential amino acids (except tryptophan) with a high level of lysine (17.13%). A sharp minimum solubility was observed at the pH value (4.5), and the maximum value was observed at the alkaline pH value (10) (P>0.05). Quinoa protein showed a high In Vitro digestibility (78.37±1.08%). The quinoa protein showed water absorption (3.94±0.06ml/g) and (1.88±0.02ml/g) oil absorption. The foaming capacity of quinoa protein isolate was (69.28±9.39% in average) and the foaming capacity was increased with the increase in the protein concentration. Quinoa protein isolate registered 54.54±15.31% foam stability after 60min. Emulsion ability index was ranged from 1.24±0.05m2/g for 0.1% protein suspension to 3.38±0.31m2/g for 3% protein suspension with average 2.10±0.99m2/g. The average of emulsion stability index was (38.43±7.22min). Quinoa protein isolate is a promising and impressive nutritive source, which is leading to candidate it as a food supplement and functional food but still needs more advanced research to improve and proof its functional properties to be convenient for using in food processing and additives.
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Main conclusion: Water deficit stress followed by re-watering during grain filling resulted in the induction of the ornithine pathway and in changes in Quinoa grain quality. The genetic diversity of Chenopodium quinoa Willd. (Quinoa) is accompanied by an outstanding environmental adaptability and high nutritional properties of the grains. However, little is known about the biochemical and physiological mechanisms associated with the abiotic stress tolerance of Quinoa. Here, we characterized carbon and nitrogen metabolic changes in Quinoa leaves and grains in response to water deficit stress analyzing their impact on the grain quality of two lowland ecotypes (Faro and BO78). Differences in the stress recovery response were found between genotypes including changes in the activity of nitrogen assimilation-associated enzymes that resulted in differences in grain quality. Both genotypes showed a common strategy to overcome water stress including the stress-induced synthesis of reactive oxygen species scavengers and osmolytes. Particularly, water deficit stress induced the stimulation of the ornithine and raffinose pathways. Our results would suggest that the regulation of C- and N partitioning in Quinoa during grain filling could be used for the improvement of the grain quality without altering grain yields.
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Background: Currently, the technology called Clearfield® is used in the development of crops resistant to herbicides that inhibit the enzyme acetohydroxy acid synthase (AHAS, EC AHAS is the first enzyme of the biosynthetic pathway that produces the branched-chain of the essential amino acids valine, leucine, and isoleucine. Therefore, multiple copies of the AHAS gene might be of interest for breeding programs targeting herbicide resistance. In this work, the characterization of the AHAS gene was accomplished for the Chenopodium quinoa Regalona-Baer cultivar. Cloning, sequencing, and Southern blotting were conducted to determine the number of gene copies. Results: The presence of multiple copies of the AHAS gene as has been shown previously in several other species is described. Six copies of the AHAS gene were confirmed with Southern blot analyses. CqHAS1 and CqAHAS2 variants showed the highest homology with AHAS mRNA sequences found in the NR Database. A third copy, CqAHAS3, shared similar fragments with both CqAHAS1 and CqAHAS2, suggesting duplication through homeologous chromosomes pairing. Conclusions: The presence of multiple copies of the gene AHAS shows that gene duplication is a common feature in polyploid species during evolution. In addition, to our knowledge, this is the first report of the interaction of sub-genomes in quinoa.