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Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.): An Overview of the Potentials of the “Golden Grain” and Socio-Economic and Environmental Aspects of Its Cultivation and Marketization

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Department of Historical and Geographic Sciences and the Ancient World (DiSSGeA), University of Padova, 35141 Padova, Italy
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Centre of Biological Engineering, University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
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International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, Av. Mestre José Veiga s/n, 4715-330 Braga, Portugal
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Institute of Crop Science, University of Hohenheim, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
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Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University Hohenheim, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
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Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Hohenheim, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
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Institute of Social Sciences in Agriculture, University of Hohenheim, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Foods 2020, 9(2), 216; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9020216
Received: 26 December 2019 / Revised: 10 February 2020 / Accepted: 15 February 2020 / Published: 19 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Grain)
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) is native to the Andean region and has attracted a global growing interest due its unique nutritional value. The protein content of quinoa grains is higher than other cereals while it has better distribution of essential amino acids. It can be used as an alternative to milk proteins. Additionally, quinoa contains a high amount of essential fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, dietary fibers, and carbohydrates with beneficial hypoglycemic effects while being gluten-free. Furthermore, the quinoa plant is resistant to cold, salt, and drought, which leaves no doubt as to why it has been called the “golden grain”. On that account, production of quinoa and its products followed an increasing trend that gained attraction in 2013, as it was proclaimed to be the international year of quinoa. In this respect, this review provides an overview of the published results regarding the nutritional and biological properties of quinoa that have been cultivated in different parts of the world during the last two decades. This review sheds light on how traditional quinoa processing and products evolved and are being adopted into novel food processing and modern food products, as well as noting the potential of side stream processing of quinoa by-products in various industrial sectors. Furthermore, this review moves beyond the technological aspects of quinoa production by addressing the socio-economic and environmental challenges of its production, consumption, and marketizations to reflect a holistic view of promoting the production and consumption of quinoa. View Full-Text
Keywords: quinoa; Chenopodium quinoa Willd.; quinoa market; producer and consumer welfare; sustainability; functional food; nutrition; post-harvest processing; side stream processing quinoa; Chenopodium quinoa Willd.; quinoa market; producer and consumer welfare; sustainability; functional food; nutrition; post-harvest processing; side stream processing
MDPI and ACS Style

Angeli, V.; Miguel Silva, P.; Crispim Massuela, D.; Khan, M.W.; Hamar, A.; Khajehei, F.; Graeff-Hönninger, S.; Piatti, C. Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.): An Overview of the Potentials of the “Golden Grain” and Socio-Economic and Environmental Aspects of Its Cultivation and Marketization. Foods 2020, 9, 216.

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