Comparison of nutritional and nutraceutical properties of chenopodium quinoa cultivated in Mexico and Ecuador
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) is considered a superfood due to its nutritional qualities and potential health benefits. In this work, the nutritional and nutraceutical properties were compared for white Ecuador quinoa seeds (WEQ) and red Ecuador quinoa seeds (REQ) with respect to the white Mexican quinoa seeds (WMxQ). Quinoa seeds from Peru have been introduced and adapted to the geographic and climatic conditions by the State of Morelos, Mexico, improved by mass selection in field to obtain plants with desirable phenotypic characteristics. The nutritional properties of seeds were evaluated through a proximate analysis, mineral content, amino acids profile, and fatty acid profile of quinoa oil. The nutraceutical properties were determined quantifying total phenols, total betalains and antioxidant capacity. The results evidenced that WEQ seeds had the highest protein content (16.59 g 100 g-1 dw). The P, Ca, and Mg contents were high in WMxQ (424.6, 60.3, and 152.3 mg 100 g-1 in dw respectively). Arginine, glutamic acid, and alanine were the most abundant amino acids in the three cultivars. In all quinoas, unsaturated fatty acids were most predominant (73.6% to 78.0%). The Mexican quinoa seeds showed the highest total phenolic content (2.9 mg gallic acid equivalent g-1 in fw). The concentration of betalains in the REQ was 83.3 mg 100 g-1 fw. The results demonstrate that nutritional and phenolic contents varies according to the color seeds and region. Quinoa of Mexico is high in phenolic compounds and may be used as a source of natural antioxidants.