Properties of Quinoa

October 27/Food Business Week -- "The amino acid composition and the physicochemical and functional properties of quinoa flour proteins (QFP) were evaluated during storage (at 20, 30 and 40 degrees C). Quinoa flour showed a protein content of 14.2 +/- 0.1 g 100 g-1 and high levels of essential amino acids as lysine," scientists writing in the International Journal of Food Science and Technology report.

"SDS-PAGE of the QFP presented 10major band and native-PAGE of the QFP showed similar banding; there was a little variation due to time-temperature. TCA-protein solubility variation (%) was small and the values of water activity were low, a non-significant endogenous hydrolysis was observed. Differential scanning calorimetry flour analysis allowed determining two endotherms, starch and protein. Important structural changes of protein soluble fractions were not detected by UV and fluorescence spectroscopy due to temperature and time of storage. It was found during storage time loss of protein solubility and water absorption. These changes could be to influence in the manufacture of quinoa flour based products," wrote L. Abugoch and colleagues, University of Chile.

The researchers concluded, "To avoid changes in these functional properties (solubility and water holding capacity), quinoa flour can be stored at ambient temperature (between 20 and 30 degrees C) and packed in double kraft paper bags (two months)."

Abugoch and colleagues published their study in International Journal of Food Science and Technology ("Stability of Quinoa Flour Proteins (Chenopodium Quinoa) During Storage." International Journal of Food Science and Technology, 2009;44(10):2013-2020).

Additional information can be obtained by contacting L. Abugoch, University of Chile, Faculty Ciencias Quim & Farmaceut, Dept. of Ciencia Alimentos & Tecnol Quim, Vicuna Mackenna 20, Santiago, Chile.

From the November 9, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition