Breaking Down Quinoa Part IV – Getting Your Protein
After a successful season of growing quinoa, we are confident that our learnings from planting, maintenance and harvest this year will put us further in the right direction for commercialization in the near future. We are currently in the final stages of securing land and capital to build the processing facility so we can offer local Ontario Quinta quinoa and other high quality crops to consumers! We would like to take this time to sincerely thank all of our industry supporters, collaborators, and our producers across Ontario – we wouldn’t be where we are without your support!
Once the facility is in place, we will be able to partner with more interested producers to expand our acreage across Ontario. If you are interested in growing quinoa or other ‘superfood’ crops with Katan, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 647-932-6930.
Our last three blogs in this series overviewed the health benefits of three trace minerals – zinc, iron, and copper. These minerals, although required in only small amounts, have vast benefits in our bodies. We also illustrated that our Quinta Quinoa has increased available amounts of these minerals compared to commercially available quinoa imported from South America. But now we’re going to switch gears and discuss a macronutrient – protein.
Protein is made up of amino acids – eight of which are essential amino acids for both children and adults. While quinoa is generally higher in protein content than most traditional grains, it’s also higher in protein quality and is a rare complete source of plant protein. Proteins are known as ‘the building blocks of life’. This macronutrient is present in every cell in the human body and helps the body repair cells, in addition to making new ones. During developmental stages of life i.e. when you’re a child, teen, or pregnant, protein is specifically important to aid in proper growth and development.
Like with most nutrients, your recommended daily intake of protein varies with your health, age, and developmental stage. For healthy adults, generally 2-3 servings of protein-rich foods is sufficient per day.
You can fulfil your body’s protein requirements through both animal and plant protein sources! Plant sources such as quinoa, legumes and beans can provide your body with all the protein it needs.
Through our research over the past 4 years, we’ve determined that local Ontario Quinta Quinoa has higher protein content compared to commercially available imported quinoa. While imported quinoa contains 12-14% protein, our varieties grown in Northern and Southern Ontario contain 16-17% protein (see graph).
We’ve been able to demonstrate that quinoa is a viable crop to introduce into Ontario agriculture. With Quinta Quinoa’s high nutritional profile, it is clear that there is a great opportunity to expand across Ontario. We believe that the increased nutrients compared to commercially available imported quinoa is due to a combination of our climate, the amazing nutrient-rich Ontario soils, as well as the unique, non-GMO, natural-breeded variety of quinoa seed we have developed.