With the growing population; pressure on our global food system increases, pushing us towards more sustainable production and consumption of nutritious whole food sources. To guard food security one of the important dietary shifts that needs to be enabled concerns the shift from animal-based proteins towards alternative protein sources.
To substitute animal-based protein, alternative protein sources have to fulfil different quality requirements to be valuable for human health. The characteristics that determine this protein quality include amino acid profile, amino acid proportions and the bsorption in the human body to achieve protein synthesis.
With rising interest for animal welfare and ethical concerns, plant-based protein become an appealing source of alternative protein as they touch upon the critical points of today’s global food system. However, despite their promising potential, the majority of plant-based protein sources are inferior to animal proteins regarding protein quality. This is caused by incomplete amino acid profiles, poor availability and absorption due to anti-nutritive substances or unfavourable protein structures. These critical points cause most plant-based protein to not be completely sufficient in replacing animal-based proteins and therefore combinations- and a variety in plant-based protein are of great importance to nourish our future population.
Quinoa belongs in the shift towards plant based protein diets
Quinoa is one of the crops that can support the shift towards a more plant based protein diet by contributing to more dietary variety and the provision of high quality protein. Quinoa namely comprises a protein content of approximately 14%. It is one of the few plant protein sources that provides a complete protein containing all essential amino acids including lysine, methionine and threonine which are usually scarce in other plant foods. The proportions and composition of the amino acids in quinoa protein are highly favourable for the human diet. Moreover its amino acid pattern even belongs to the top single foods; having one of the most balanced essential amino acids patterns that results in the highest essential amino acid efficiencies. According to the FAO quinoa protein meet the amino acid requirement recommended for preschool children, school children and adults. Due to absence of anti-nutritive substances such as saponins and allergens that reduce proper intake, proteins in non-bitter LoQal quinoa varieties of The Quinoa Company are perfectly accessible for digestion by the body. These beneficial qualities are also reflected in the LoQal™ quinoa protein PDCAAS ratio of 0.92. Which indicates that more than 90% of all proteins in the seed will be digested by the body for protein synthesis.
Supported by The Quinoa Company
Quinoa is still an underutilized crop. Hence, in addition to its promising nutritional quality, there is a great potential for quinoa to play a significant role in the important dietary shift towards alternative protein sources. The Quinoa Company takes up the challenge to utilize this potential and provides non-bitter quinoa varieties that will serve the increasing demand for proteins.