Quinoa Newly Emerging Crop In Pakistan

(Muhammad Jehanzaib Ali, Faisalabad)

Quinoa is new emerging crop nutritionally rich than any other cereal. It is the staple food of Inka impire of many countries in many areas of South America and especially in Andes. It is the food of the people of high region of Andes because wheat and corn cannot grow at high altitude .it is cooked like rice and has very miled flavor. And give nutty flavor on frying. Its taste is similar to cooked barley. It can be eaten like a hot breakfast cereal you can put in soaps, salads and desserts. From its flour we can make biscuits, doughnuts and pasta. Leaves can cook as spinach and used as salad having high content of vitamin A.

Quinoa is very important crop because of high content of protein and unique amino acid composition. The most interesting thing is the high lysine value. Lysine an essential amino acid that is deficient in many grain crops is found in quinoa.

Quinoa is member of the family chenopodiaceae, the other member of this family are sugar beats, spinach, Swiss chard. Quinoa is an herb containing small seeds called achenes. Seeds are small, similar in size to millet. Seeds color varies from white, yellow, red, purpleto black depending upon the region. In food industry yellow and white grains are used. Quinoa seeds are bitter, medium, and sweet on the bases of environment.

Quinoa is also called as pseudo-cereal because the amino acid pattern is very similar to the combination of soybean and wheat so it can be suitable alternative.

This crop can tolerate the harsh conditions, where the other crops cannot grow. It can grow at poor soil, tolerate salinity, tolerate frost and tolerate high temperature high altitude extreme weather and drought.

Quinoa has potential to overcome the word’s foods shortage because it has excellent balance between protein and fat. Protein contents are 50 % more than any other grain. Extra large germ portion gives quinoa its protein power. It has full range of amino acid which can easily absorb by body which any other grains do not have also rich in omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. It is gluten free, easy to digest and good source of Magnesium, calcium, phosphorus copper and iron, rich in vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin C and vitamin E .The FAO observed that quinoa is closer to ideal protein balance than any other crop.

Used for altitude sickness because of calcium. Provide strength to the pregnant women. Quinoa is good source of magnesium which relaxes blood vessels so provide cardio vascular health. Protect against Brest cancer and also act as anti oxidant.

Outer layer of seed contain a bitter compound called saponins, considered to be toxic, plant may be utilized it as prevention from predator. Saponins can be removed by rinsing the quinoa in cold alkaline water and mechanically rubbing the outer layer of seed. Through selective breeding sweet and more palatable varieties can be made.

The main exporters of the quinoa in the word are Bolivia and Peru Chilly. In Pakistan it is experimentally cultivated in Faisalabad, Chakwal and Bahawalpur.

We must add quinoa in our diet because it is easy to grow, highly nutritive, medicinally important, economical and versatile food. Problem of malnutrition can may be overcome by using this.

Muhammad Jehanzaib Ali
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