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Food Sci. Technol. Res.

, 8 (1), 8084, 2002

Food Components in Fractions of Quinoa Seed

Hitomi ANDO,1 Yi-Chun CHEN,2 Hanjun TANG,2 Mayumi SHIMIZU,2 Katsumi WATANABE2* and Toshio MITSUNAGA2
Kyoto Bunkyo Junior College, Kyoto 611-0041 Japan
Department of Food and Nutrition, Faculty of Agriculture, Kinki University, Nara 631-0052 Japan

Received September 21, 2001; Accepted December 13, 2001

Whole quinoa grain was separated into bran and milled grain, and the milled grain into perisperm and embryo.
The proximate composition of the milled grain was similar to that of whole grain. The protein and lipid content of the
embryo was 57% of total protein and 49% of total lipid, respectively. Mineral analysis showed that the quinoa grain
was rich in K, Mg, Ca, P and Fe. The perisperm contained large oval starch aggregates 2030 m in diameter and
polygonal granules around 1 m in diameter. Differential scanning calorimetry data indicated a gelatinization tem-
perature of 54.0 to 71.0C and enthalpy of 11.0 J/g starch. The water-soluble protein and NaCl-soluble protein frac-
tions composed 28.736.2% and 28.932.9% of total protein in each fraction. Unsaturated fatty acid accounted for
87.287.8% of total fatty acid. Phytate, a trypsin inhibitor activity and lipoxygenase activity in the embryo were high-
est. The saponin content of the bran was 86% of total saponin.

Keywords: quinoa seed, proximate composition, mineral, starch, protein, lipid, antinutrients

Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd) is a traditional food crop mercial suppliers.

in several South American countries which has been attracting Chemical analysis Moisture, ash, protein and lipid con-
attention because of the nutritional value of its protein (Ranhotra tents were determined by the AOAC method (Horwiz,1970).
et al., 1993). Quinoa grain is a disc-shape, about 2 mm in diame- Dietary fiber was measured by the enzyme-weight method
ter and 0.5 mm in thickness. The major anatomical parts of the (Prosky et al., 1988). Sugar content (%) was calculated by sub-
grain are the pericarp, the perisperm and the embryo. The peri- tracting moisture, ash, protein, lipid and dietary fiber contents
carp (bran) usually contains saponins, which are bitter antinutri- from 100%. Each mineral, with the exception of phosphorus, in
tional compounds (Mastebroek et al., 2000). Therefore, milled the sample solutions prepared by the HCl-extract method (Yasui
grain with the pericarp removed is used as food. The embryo of et al., 1985) was measured with an atomic absorption spectro-
the milled grain wraps around the perisperm like a headband. photometer (HITACHI Z-6100). Phosphorus was determined
The high nutritional value of quinoa grain is due mainly to its colorimetrically with ammonium molybdate and ammonium
high content of good quality protein (Mahoney et al., 1975, vanadate (Yasui, 1996). Phytate phosphorus and total saponin
Gross et al., 1989, Ranhotra et al., 1993). Studies of quinoa lipid were determined by the colorimetric method (Huang & Lantz-
(Koziol, 1992), starch (Atwell et al., 1983, Lorenz, 1990), miner- sch, 1983) and the gravimetic method (Lalitha et al., 1987),
al (Bruin, 1964) and antinutritional compounds (Chauhuhan et respectively. Trypsin inhibitor activity was assayed (Mitsunaga,
al., 1992, Mastebroek et al., 2000) have been carried out. How- 1979) using -N-benzoylD, L-arginine-p-nitroanilide as sub-
ever, the food components of quinoa grain fractions have not strate. Lipoxygenase activity was measured by the conjugated
been investigated. diene method (Takamura & Matoba, 1992).
The objectives of this study were to characterize the distribu- Preparation and properties of starch granules Starch
tion of food components in quinoa grain fractions and evaluate granules were prepared from the perisperm by a modified alkali
the food value of this grain. method (Tang et al., 2000). The distribution of granule size was
examined with a particle size analyzer (HORIBA Ltd, LA-700
Materials and Methods type). The shape and size of the granules was observed by scan-
Materials Quinoa grain (Chenopodium quinoa Willd cul- ning electron microscopy (NIPPON DATAM, JSM-5400 LV).
tivar Real TKW 2.8 g) grown in Bolivia in 1998 was used. X-ray diffraction was performed on the starch (10% moisture)
Whole grain (Fig. 1A) was polished to separate the milled grain with an X-ray diffractometer (RIGAKU, Ltd, Rint-2000 type).
(Fig.1B) and the bran (pericarp) with a rice milling machine Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was performed with a
(SHIN-NAKANO KOGYO Ltd. MINI RICE POLISHING RP- starch to water ratio of 5 mg to 20 l (RIGAKU Ltd., DSC-
5). The milled grain was then divided into the perisperm (Fig. 8240D). Iodine absorption spectra and -amylolysis limit were
1C) and the embryo with this machine and sieves. Whole grain, measured following the methods of Takeda et al. (1983).
milled grain, bran, perisperm and embryo were ground with a Determination of the amount of protein in each fraction
mill for use as samples. All chemicals were purchased from com- Protein was extracted with H2O, 0.5 M NaCl, 60% n-propanol
and 1% lactic acid solutions, successively, by the modified Maes
method (Mitsunaga & Mitsuda, 1975). Insoluble protein was cal-
*To whom correspondence should be addressed.
E-mail: culated by subtracting soluble protein from total protein.
Food Components in Quinoa Seed 81

Fig. 1. Scanning electron microscopy of quinoa grains and starches. A, whole grain; B, milled grain; C, perisperm; D, cross section of perisperm; E, starch
aggregate; F, starch granule.

Lipid analysis The lipid in the quinoa fraction was ex- with 10% methanolic HCl and subjected to gas-liquid chroma-
tracted with chloroform/methanol/water according to the proce- tography (Shirasaka et al., 1998).
dure of Bligh and Dyer (1959). The lipid was transmethylated
82 H. ANDO et al.

Results and Discussion no difference among fractions. The proximate composition of

Chemical components in each fraction During the milling quinoa grain fractions on the basis of dry weight is shown in
of whole quinoa grains, the bran and embryo were separated Table 1. The protein, lipid, sugar, dietary fiber and ash content of
from the perisperm portion, and 8.2% bran, 30.1% embryo and whole quinoa grain were 12.9, 6.5, 63.7, 13.9 and 3.0%, respec-
58.8% perisperm were obtained on a grain-weight basis with tively. The milling of the grain had little effect on the content of
losses of 2.9%. each component. The protein, lipid, sugar, dietary fiber and ash
The moisture content in each fraction was 10.011.9% with content of the embryo, however, were 23.5, 10.2, 43.1, 18.9 and
4.3%, respectively. The protein and lipid content were 57% of
total protein and 49% of total lipid in whole grain, compared to
39% and 46% in the perisperm. The levels of protein (7.2%), lip-
id (5.0%), dietary fiber (8.5%) and ash (1.1%) in the perisperm
were considerably lower than in the corresponding whole grain.
The sugar content of the perisperm was 78.2%, compared to
63.7% for whole grain.

Table 3. Characterization of quinoa starch.

Analysis Range
X-ray diffraction pattern A-type
Gelatinizationa) (C)
To 54.00.6
Tp 62.20.3
Tc 71.00.7
Enthalpy(H, J/g) 11.00.5
Iodine absorption spectra
max (nm) 6022.1
Blue value 0.2870.012
Apparent amylase contentc) (%) 23.91.0
-Amylolysis limit (%) 591.5
All values are the meanSD of three separate measuresments.
To,Tp,and Tc are onset, peak and conclusion temperature, respectively.
max=peak absorbance value over the range of wavelengths examined.
Fig. 2. Distribution of particle size of quinoa starch granules. Y axis blue value(BV)=absorbance at 680 nm.
shows volume % of starch particles. X axis shows particle size (m) with Apparent amylose content(%)=[BV(starch)/BV(amylase)]100, assuming
logarithmic scale. the amylose BV to be 1.2 (Takeda et al., 1983).

Table 1. Proximate composition of quinoa grain fractions.

Whole grain Milled grain Bran Perisperm Embryo
Proteina) 12.90.1 (100) 13.30.1 (96) 6.10.1 (4) 7.20.2 (39) 23.50.1 (57)
Lipid 6.50.2 (100) 6.70.2 (95) 3.90.1 (5) 5.00.2 (46) 10.20.2 (49)
Sugar 63.7 (100) 64.6 (93) 54.2 (7) 78.2 (73) 43.1 (20)
Dietary fiber 13.90.2 (100) 12.70.2 (84) 26.60.2 (16) 8.50.3 (39) 18.90.1 (45)
SDFc) 4.30.2 (100) 4.40.1 (96) 2.10.1 (4) 2.20.1 (35) 7.50.2 (61)
IDFd) 9.60.3 (100) 8.30.2 (79) 24.50.2 (21) 6.30.2 (41) 11.40.1 (38)
Ash 3.00.1 (100) 2.70.1 (76) 9.20.2 (24) 1.10.1 (25) 4.30.2 (51)
All values are on a dry basis (%) and are the meanSD of three separate measurements.
The number in parentheses represents the proportion (%) of the content in each fraction against the total content in whole grain.
Calculated from the difference.
SDF, soluble dietary fiber.
IDF, insoluble dietary fiber.

Table 2. Mineral content of quinoa grain fractions.

Whole grain Milled grain Bran Perisperm Embryo
K 825.712.3 (100) 639.39.4 (71) 2908.538.2 (29) 387.94.6 (28) 1125.418.3 (43)
Mg 452.613.8 (100) 415.212.1 (83) 958.317.2 (17) 215.210.2 (29) 750.211.0 (54)
Ca 121.35.2 (100) 91.83.8 (70) 481.311.1 (30) 71.82.4 (34) 139.77.2 (36)
P 359.511.3 (100) 360.214.2 (92) 350.812.2 (8) 286.610.5 (50) 482.612.8 (42)
Fe 9.50.2 (100) 9.20.1 (87) 14.30.2 (13) 7.20.1 (48) 11.30.3 (39)
Mn 3.70.5 (100) 3.40.2 (81) 10.80.6 (19) 2.40.3 (38) 5.10.7 (43)
Cu 0.70.1 (100) 0.60.1 (81) 1.40.2 (19) 0.50.1 (44) 0.80.1 (37)
Zn 0.80.1 (100) 0.80.1 (91) 0.70.1 (9) 0.60.1 (48) 1.10.2 (43)
Na 1.30.3 (100) 1.20.2 (79) 3.20.1 (21) 0.50.2 (31) 1.50.3 (48)
All values (mg/mg%) are the meanSD of three separate measurements.
The number in parentheses represents the proportion (%) of the content in each fraction against the total content in whole grain.
Food Components in Quinoa Seed 83

The mineral content of the various quinoa fractions is summa- the starch granules is summarized in Table 3. Quinoa starch ex-
rized in Table 2. The proportions of each mineral content in hibited the A X-ray diffaction pattern (Fig. 3) which is common
perisperm and embryo against that in whole grain were approxi- to most cereal starches (Atwell et al., 1983, Tang et al., 2000,
mately the same. In general, quinoa appeared to be a good source Zheng et al., 1998). DSC analysis (Fig. 4) indicated a gelatiniza-
of minerals and to have a good composition; for example, the tion temperature range of 54.071.0C and enthalpy of 11.0 J/g
calcium-phosphorus ratio (1 : 0.73.9) was better than that of starch. These values were similar to those of several cereal
cereals (1 : 7.854.0) (Kagawa, 2001). starches obtained using a similar DSC method (Tang et al.,
Characterization of starch Figure 1D shows a cross sec- 1998).
tion of the quinoa perisperm, in which starch granules are packed Distribution of each protein Table 4 shows the distribu-
densely among starch aggregates (2030 m in diameter) (Fig. tion of each protein by solubility in the fraction. The water-solu-
1E). All quinoa starch granules prepared by the alkali method ble protein and NaCl-soluble protein fractions composed 28.7
were polygonal in shape (Fig. 1F) with a diameter of 0.082.0 36.2% and 28.932.9% of total protein in each fraction. The dis-
m. The shape was similar to that of rice starch, but the particle tribution of each protein showed the same tendency in each frac-
size was less than that of rice (0.53.9 m), wheat (0.739.2 tion. The distribution of quinoa fractions differs from that of
m), barley (1.039.2 m) and corn (1.07.7 m) (Tang et al., wheat (Ando et al., 2002) and barley (Ando et al., 1996) grains.
1998). Their small size suggests that the starch granules could Fatty acid composition of lipid The fatty acid composition
have applications in other industries (Fig. 2). Characterization of of the lipid in each fraction is shown in Table 5. The main satu-
rated fatty acid was palmitic acid, which accounted for around
10% of total fatty acids in each fraction. Unsaturated fatty acids
were oleic acid (19.729.5%), linoleic acid (49.056.4%) and
linolenic acid (8.711.7%), which constituted 87.287.8% of
total fatty acids. The composition of quinoa oil is similar to that
of soybean oil. The embryo is potentially a valuable source of oil.
Other components The levels of antinutrients such as
phytate, saponin and trypsin inhibitor activity, and lipoxygenase
activity are listed in Table 6. Phytate and trypsin inhibitor activity
in the embryo were highest. The embryo contained 60% of the
total phytate and 89% of the total trypsin inhibitor activity in
whole grain. The embryo also contained 62% of total lipoxygen-
ase activity. Quinoa flour has a smell similar to soybean, and
which limits the appeal of quinoa as a foodstuff. The flour from
the milled grain has a stronger smell than the flour from the
perisperm. Due to the distribution of lipoxygenase activity, the
smell is likely attributable to oxidize and decompose unsaturated
fatty acids. Saponin content in the bran was highest, accounting
for 86% of the total saponin in whole grain.
Fig. 3. X-ray diffraction pattern of quinoa starch. In quinoa grain fractions, the pericarp (bran) contained lots of

Table 4. Distribution of each protein in quinoa grain fractions.

Milled grain Perisperm Embryo
Water-soluble 33.13.1 28.71.9 36.22.8
NaCl-soluble 28.92.8 31.02.3 32.91.5
n-Propanol-soluble 3.20.5 2.70.4 2.70.4
Lactic acid-soluble 3.20.4 3.20.3 2.00.3
Insoluble 31.62.9 34.42.0 26.22.2
All values are on a dry basis (%) and are the meanSD of three separate

Table 5. Fatty acid composition of lipid of quinoa grain fractions.

Fatty acid Milled grain Perisperm Embryo
Miristic (C14:0) 0.20.1 0.10.0 0.20.1
Palmitic (C16:0) 10.30.2 10.80.3 9.50.2
Stearic (C18:0) 0.80.1 0.70.2 0.90.2
Oleic (C18:1) 25.60.3 29.50.2 19.70.3
Linoleic (C18:2) 52.00.4 49.00.3 56.40.3
Linolenic (C18:3) 9.80.1 8.70.2 11.70.2
Fig. 4. Differential scanning calorimetry thermal curve of quinoa starch. Others 1.3 1.2 1.6
To (onset temperature), Tp (peak temperature) and Tc (conclusion tempera- All values are on a dry basis (%) and are the meanSD of three separate
ture) are 54.0, 62.2 and 71.0C, respectively. measurements.
84 H. ANDO et al.

Table 6. Phytate phosphate and total saponin content, and trypsin inhibitor and lipoxygenase activities of quinoa grain fractions.
Whole grain Milled grain Bran Perisperm Embryo
Phytate phosphate (mg/mg%) 163.24.3 (100) 171.33.2 (95) 92.53.5 (5) 76.23.1 (35) 231.75.1 (60)
Total saponin (mg/mg%) 263.29.0 (100) 39.51.8 (14) 2704.212.3 (86) 15.60.2 (3) 95.31.9 (11)
Trypsin inhibitor activity (units/g) 68.91.9 (100) 72.51.5 (99) 5.70.7 (1) 7.90.5 (10) 162.53.2 (89)
Lipoxygenase activity (units/g) 50.90.9 (100) 55.81.1 (100) 0.0 (0) 30.10.7 (38) 95.31.5 (62)
All values are the meanSD of three separate measurements.
The number in parentheses represents the proportion (%) of the content in each fraction against the content in whole grain.

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