Quinoa are the seeds from the quinoa plant (Chenopodium quinoa Willd); a flowering plant in the Amaranth family (which also includes spinach and beetroot). Quinoa is a so-called ‘pseudo-cereal’. Pseudo-cereals are not part of the grass-family, like wheat or oats, but can be used for cereal applications due to their starchy seeds.
Locally grown, non-bitter quinoa with low levels of saponin (<0.11%), forms the basis of our innovative quinoa ingredient portfolio. Traditional quinoa varieties from the Andes may contain saponin levels up to 5%. Saponin is a bitter anti-nutritional substance protecting quinoa seeds in the Andes against birds and insects during the growing season. For our quinoa ingredients, we use new quinoa varieties developed by the plant breeding program of the Wageningen University & Research. These new varieties can be grown locally and because of the low saponin content, no saponin removal steps are necessary.
Our growers use sustainable farming methods and cultivate the quinoa seeds locally without pesticides. Quinoa has a very broad genetic variability, which enables the crop to adapt to a wide range of adverse environmental conditions such as drought and saline soil. Our close collaboration with local farmers ensures full transparency and traceability.
Our quinoa seeds are purified with high-end optical technology. Due to their naturally low saponin content, no saponin-removal steps (polishing and washing) are required. This not only saves water and energy, but also prevents loss of nutrients. Similar to cereals, the seeds of the quinoa plant can be processed into high quality food ingredients. Our quinoa ingredients are produced with GreenFood50 proprietary technologies in FSSC22000 certified production units. Sustainable and mild processing techniques ensure that the nutritional and functional properties are retained. The quinoa ingredients have a long ambient temperature shelf-life. Local cultivation and processing ensures full transparency and traceability at FSSC22000 quality level.
Quinoa has a high protein quality, as all 9 essential amino acids are present with a 100% amino acid score for adults and a digestibility of 92%. In addition, quinoa contains fibres, vitamins (B1, B6, folate (B9) and vitamin E), several minerals (zinc, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron), unsaturated fatty acids (Omega 3, 6 and 9) and even some antioxidants. Quinoa has a low glycaemic index and meets the requirements for products free from gluten and other EU-14 allergens.
Food quality and safety are our top priorities. Therefore, our quinoa ingredients are produced in FSSC22000 certified production units with sustainable technologies. GreenFood50 is also NL-BIO-01 SKAL certified for the supply of organic food ingredients.
We have in-depth knowledge about the functionality of our ingredients. We can provide information on the functional properties of our ingredients (such as water & oil binding capacity, solubility, thickening, gelation, foaming, and emulsifying properties). Our ingredients all have their own unique functionalities and sensory characteristics and can be used in a wide application range. We are used to co-creating with our customers: a tailored functionality profile can, for example, be created by combining multiple quinoa ingredients or by making small adjustments in your production process.