Yemina Karen Diaz-Valencia, Juan José Alca, Maria Antonia Calori-Domingues, Sonia Jackeline Zanabria-Galvez and Sandra Helena Da Cruz
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) has been nutritionally highlighted when compared to other grains. In recent years the research on this pseudocereal has increased. In this work, six quinoa samples were studied: three from Peru, one from Brazil and two commercial samples. The samples were physically and physicochemically characterized, including macro- and micronutrient analysis, phenolic compounds content and antioxidant activity. Black, red and white samples showed as main difference the size, weight, ashes and dietary fibre content. Black samples were the smallest and lightest and had the lowest starch content but presented the highest levels of ashes and dietary fibre. The protein content (16.9 %) in the white Brazilian variety was higher than the others. Red and black samples had the highest levels of most minerals analysed. The antioxidant capacity measured by the DPPH method was higher for black and red samples in comparison with the white ones. However, the white Brazilian variety showed a significantly higher antioxidant capacity measured by the ABTS assay. With regard to the phenolic content, a difference was found between the samples which ranged from 55.5 to 95.5 g GAE 100 g−1. The colour of the grain was found as not related to a higher content of phenolic compounds. Because their compositions are generally similar to light-coloured grains, and in some parameters such as dietary fibre and content of some micronutrients are superior, the grains of dark-coloured quinoa varieties (RPP, BCP) would have to be explored to develop foods that take advantage of this colour diversity.