[31], Quinoa plants do best in sandy, well-drained soils with a low nutrient content, moderate salinity, and a soil pH of 6 to 8.5.

The stem is red, purple or green in color. “Its genetic diversity and adaptability to different agro-environmental conditions make it stand out from other crops,” says Dr. Kristina Toderich, a Tashkent-based plant scientist. With a production of 114.3 thousand tons, Peru was the largest quinoa producer. [5], Today, almost all production in the Andean region is done by small farms and associations. It is a warm season crop that requires full sun and germinates best in soil temperature ranges of 65 to 75 degrees. Currently, quinoa can be classified as sweet (saponin-free or containing less than 0.11 percent saponin) or bitter (more than 0.11 percent saponin). Chinese researchers first experimented with quinoa in the late 1950s, while their counterparts in the U.K. did so in the 1980s. Take the Aral Sea region in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, where the FAO estimates at least 2 million people are undernourished, 53 percent of children have vitamin A deficiency and 24 percent of adults are deficient in zinc. It’s only with the boom in demand for the crop as a superfood this century, combined with rising concerns about climate change and food security, that more and more countries have turned to quinoa cultivation. Across the world, scientists are trying to revive millennia-old grains that are climate resistant and nutritious, to prepare for a future of food scarcity. Because it is hardy and can grow anywhere from sea level to 4,000 meters above sea level, quinoa could be beneficial to improve food security in at-risk regions. Once processed and properly dried, quinoa can last for several years stored in a dry kitchen cabinet. Traditionally it has been eaten as a porridge or in soups and stews. Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa; /ˈkiːnwɑː/ or /kɪˈnoʊ.ə/, from Quechua kinwa or kinuwa)[2] is a flowering plant in the amaranth family. Light frosts do not affect the growth of the plant except for when it is flowering. It's saponine has been carefully washed off so you can still sprout the seed if you like.Some Quinoa processors use steam during the de-saponine process which kills the seed. The crop that originated in the cool, tropical mountains of the Andes is now being cultivated in hot and dry Saudi Arabia; in Central Asia’s Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan; and in the limited sun of Scandinavia’s Denmark and Sweden.

Source International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA). Yet, the most sought-after strains of Quinoa are so fragile that they won't produce at lower elevations on good soil. Nutritional evaluations indicate that a 100-gram (3 1⁄2-ounce) serving of raw quinoa seeds is a rich source (20% or higher of the Daily Value, DV) of protein, dietary fiber, several B vitamins, including 46% DV for folate, and the dietary minerals magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese. In Tajikistan, where 93 percent of the territory is mountainous, the crop can be grown in the rain-fed land from different heights ranging from 530 to 4,000 meters above sea level, says Pulodov. Quinoa can be eaten in many different ways. The second leading quinoa producer was Bolivia with a production of 77.4 thousand tons. [40], In terms of wider social consequences, research on traditional producers in Bolivia has emphasised a complex picture. The soil is thin and rainfall scarce – and yet quinoa not only grows but thrives on the altiplano, or high plains. ), and originated in the Andean region of northwestern South America. Experiments are now underway across the globe, in Africa, Asia, and Europe as well as other regions of North and South America. There are ongoing breeding attempts to develop saponin-free quinoa varieties. Quinoa, much like amaranth, prefers sandy loam that is well drained.

Altogether this area produces 117 million pounds of quinoa annually, about a third of which is organic. Uzbekistan harvested its first quinoa crop in 2018. Quinoa has a higher protein content (14 to 18 percent) than other grains, with a strong amino acid balance. 300 to 1,000 mm of rainfall during the growing season is within the acceptable limit of rainfall for the growth of the quinoa plant. In addition, the thinning from quinoa production can be incorporated into salads. Nevertheless, studies regarding genetic diversity suggest that it may have passed through at least three bottleneck genetic events, with a possible fourth expected: An edible flowering plant in the family Amaranthaceae, Teofilo Laime Ajacopa, Diccionario Bilingüe Iskay simipi yuyayk'ancha, La Paz, 2007 (Quechua-Spanish dictionary). This bitterness has beneficial effects during cultivation, as it deters birds and therefore, the plant requires minimal protection. (The miner also affects the common weed and close relative Chenopodium album, but C. album is much more resistant. Yet, the most sought-after strains of Quinoa are so fragile that they won't produce at lower elevations on good soil.

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