Monday, 20 August 2012

Nutritional Native Cereals of Boilivia - 2011

Bolivia Post (Empresa de Correos de Bolivia) has issued the stamp series features the Nutritional native cereals on July 5, 2011. The issue stamps comprise of 4 single stamps depicted species Chenopodium quinoa, Chenopodium pallidicaule, Amaranthus, Lupinus mutabilis. All species  found in  Bolivia,  other South American country like Peru.
Chenopodium Quinoa
Chenopodium Quinoa is a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds.

Chenopodium Quinoa is a dicotyledonous, annual plant usually about 1–2 m high. It has broad, generally pubescent, powdery, smooth (rarely) to lobed leaves normally arranged alternately. The woody central stem is either branched or unbranched depending on the variety and may be green, red or purple. The panicles arise either from the top of the plant or from axils on the stem. The panicles have a central axis from which a secondary axis emerges either with flowers (amaranthiform), or bearing a tertiary axis carrying the flowers (glomeruliform). The fruits are about 2 mm in diameter and of various colours — from white to red or black depending on the cultivar.
Amaranthus, collectively known as amaranth, is a cosmopolitan genus of herbs. Approximately 60 species are recognized, with inflorescences and foliage ranging from purple and red to gold. Members of this genus share many characteristics and uses.Ancient amaranth grains still used to this day include the three species, Amaranthus caudatus, Amaranthus cruentus, and Amaranthus hypochondriacus. Several species are raised for amaranth "grain" in Asia and the Americas.
Although several species are often considered weeds, people around the world value amaranths as leaf vegetables, cereals, and ornamentals.    

Although amaranth was cultivated on a large scale in ancient Mexico, Guatemala, and Peru, nowadays it is only cultivated on a small scale there, along with India, China, Nepal, and other tropical countries; thus, there is potential for further cultivation in those countries, as well as in the U.S. In a 1977 article in Science, amaranth was described as "the crop of the future."

Amaranth seed flour has been evaluated as an additive to wheat flour by food specialists. Amaranth seeds contain lysine, an essential amino acid, limited in other grains or plant sources. Cooked amaranth grains are a complementing source of thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, and foliate, and dietary minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and manganese - comparable to common grains such as wheat germ, oats and others.
Chenopodium pallidicaule
Chenopodium pallidicaule, sometimes known as  Cañihua,  is a species of goosefoot, similar in character and uses to the closely related quinoa.

Cañihua is a native grain of Peru and Bolivia, which is supremely adapted to the high altitudes of the altiplano, the Andean plain that harbors Lake Titicaca. During most of its growth, the plant displays bright colors, and fields can be identified from afar. The grain has excellent protein quality (as other chenopods) and outstanding iron content.

It has important beneficial characteristics including: tolerance of high mountain conditions, high protein content,high antioxidant capacity and phenolic content and a lack of the saponins which complicate quinoa use. However, its domestication is not complete, and non-uniformity of grain ripening is a limitation.
Lupinus mutabilis
Lupinus mutabilis is a species of lupin grown in the Andes for its edible bean.
The bone-white seed contains more than 40% protein and 20% fat and has been used as a food by Andean people since ancient times, especially in soups, stews, salads and by itself mixed with boiled maize. Like other legumes, its protein is rich in the essential amino acid lysine. It has a soft seed coat that makes for easy cooking.

It may have not been more widely used because it is bitter due to some alkaloid content. It contains unusually high, for lupins, amounts of sparteine, which make up nearly half its alkaloid content. However, the alkaloids are water-soluble and can be removed by soaking the seeds for some days in water.

Average protein content is 46% (varying between 41 and 51%) and average fat content is 20% (varying between 14 and 24%), which has allowed commercial oil pressing. The protein digestibility and nutritional value are reportedly similar to those in soybeans.

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