Amaranth flour has long been recognized as a valuable biologically active food product. At the same time, it has a general strengthening effect, improves the health of the whole organism. Products based on it can be used in the prevention and treatment of various diseases. But at the same time, growth in consumer demand for products is considered to be low.
The value of amaranth flour
Researchers pay attention to a number of therapeutic and prophylactic properties of amaranth seed flour. Among them:
- wound healing;
Regular consumption of products with the addition of amaranth flour helps to strengthen the immune system, cleanse the body of harmful substances, brings tangible benefits as part of a comprehensive treatment and prevention.
So, the composition of amaranth flour includes vitamins B1 and B2, which contribute to the normalization of the acidity of the gastric juice, have an anti-inflammatory and wound healing effect on the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract. Vitamins A, E, C, magnesium, squalene, linoleic acid Omega-6, phytosterols prevent the development of inflammatory processes in the liver, gall bladder and biliary tract. A large amount of choline, phospholipids and methionine, which are contained in this product, contribute to the normalization of the process of bile secretion and prevent fatty liver. Due to the high fiber content in amaranth flour, stool and intestinal microflora can be normalized and the gastrointestinal tract cleansed of harmful substances.
Amaranth flour products help strengthen the cardiovascular system. So, vitamin E, squalene, phospholipids, choline, magnesium and phytosterols help to reduce the level of “bad” cholesterol in the blood, preventing the formation of plaques on the walls of blood vessels. Vitamin E in combination with vitamin D, magnesium and squalene normalizes blood coagulation, increases the elasticity of blood vessels, and also has a vasodilating effect. Potassium, calcium and phosphorus contribute to the regulation of the rhythm, strength and speed of myocardial contractions.
The consumption of products based on amaranth flour with a rich healing composition also helps to eliminate disturbances in the body in diabetes, anemia, disorders of the nervous and urinary systems, as well as skin injuries and injuries, cancer.
Amaranth flour value and product price
Despite the uniqueness of the composition of amaranth and the healing properties of products based on this plant, the debate about it does not subside. This applies not only to consumers, but also to those involved in the production of products. The value of amaranth flour and possible prices for the products of which it is included was discussed at a panel discussion of producers of amaranth and amaranth products.
Today is well known. Director of the company Alexey Vartanyan remembered the beginning – the organization and the first time. At the beginning of 2 thousandths Alexei decided to transform his pasta production workshop, although he understood that it would not work to satisfy the demands of a large number of buyers (so that the pasta was high-quality and cheap). First of all I wanted to surprise buyers and added bran to flour. The result was brown pasta, which Vinnitsa Sanstation at first did not even want to take for analysis. Such pasta was sold in local stores for diabetics. In other cities, they appeared after requests from diabetic buyers, and sales went even despite the higher price (transportation costs were taken into account). It turned out that the demand for healthy food appeared earlier than offers. Thus began the production of pasta with additives, among which was amaranth, about which almost no one knew. Unfortunately, according to Alexei Vartanyan, the situation has not changed much in this regard. The product, despite its great benefits, must be popularized.
The popularization of amaranth will affect the increase in its presence in the market, and, consequently, on prices. As you know, amaranth-based products are not considered the cheapest in Ukraine. For some buyers, this remains a weighty argument. This opinion was also expressed by Andrei Sazonovsky, director of Healthy Generation LLC. The company is known for such products as breakfast cereals, ground cereals, and other products with amaranth. The speaker immediately noted that amaranth is a superfood that really helps (Andrei Sazonovsky told on the example of when amaranth oil is used to mitigate the course of diabetes). But, as the experience of the company testifies, such products are almost not sold (we are talking about trading networks of ATB, Novus, Selpo, Metro, Tavria). According to Andrei Sazonovsky, sales of products with amaranth are below that limit so that they occupy shelves in supermarkets. For amaranth to become a mass product, its price should be acceptable to most potential buyers.
The high price of amaranth is understandable, and the situation was commented by Alexander Duda, chairman of the Association of manufacturers of amaranth and amaranth products, head of the Commercial and Industrial Group AMARANT. Indeed, the price per 1 ton of amaranth seeds is 35 thousand UAH. True, the minimum price is 32, 500 UAH, but it all depends on the volume of procurement.
How can amaranth be made into a mass product? The answer is again in volumes. So, the harvest of 2019 TPG “Amarant” buys 25 thousand UAH (with MPE) per ton. Further, the costs of cleaning, drying, and logistics are taken into account. There are reserves. This, in particular, improving the technology of growing amaranth, which will lead to higher yields and lower prices. This year, the price is set at 20 thousand UAH per ton of new crops, and manufacturers will be able to take refined raw materials at 26 thousand UAH per ton. The association seeks to strike a balance between the farmer and the processing company.
In addition, there is the possibility of exporting amaranth products: amaranth oil, cereals, cereals, flour, and such high value-added products as cosmetics.
Alexander Kharchenko, head of the Healthy Lifestyle Club, also took part in the discussion. He immediately noted that amaranth helps organize a lifestyle without drugs, and this plant has one of the main roles. Amaranth-based products to Alexander Kharchenko have been known for 10 years, and he himself gained experience in the use, consumption of almost all products. Recently, there has been a trend that can be characterized by the expression “And one warrior in the field, if he thinks sensibly.” Indeed, people do not come to the supermarket for amaranth, as for buckwheat, because they lack information. An example of professional athletes also speaks about the usefulness of amaranth. According to Alexander Kharchenko, if earlier they took chemicals, hormones, now amaranth flour and other products, and athletes are increasing indicators, the condition of tendons, muscle mass is improving. This is, in particular, due to the excellent amino acid profile. There is an amino acid lysine, which allows all other amino acids to be absorbed. One can argue about price and values, but the speaker is for using amaranth in its various forms, in the production of products that give people health. The task is not just to set the fashion for amaranth, but to revive the understanding of ancient traditions. Amaranth today, according to Alexander Kharchenko, is in the top 5 most important products. According to the speaker, the Healthy Lifestyle Club plays an important role in popularizing this plant, as it helps to quickly bring the right information to people. Amaranth flour itself is not widely known to anyone, and when you explained its properties, you suggested a recipe for a dish that can be prepared with it and told how to do it better, the result will be different. Thousands of people, according to Andrey, having received an amaranth product from his hands, take it again and again and get excellent health results.
Indeed, amaranth products (like any other) it is important to cook properly. This was emphasized by the moderator of the discussion, Alexander Duda. If the technology is correct, then, for example, bakery products with the addition of 15% amaranth flour retain their qualities much longer.
The topic of technology was continued by Svetlana Mikolenko, assistant professor of technology for storage and processing of agricultural products, candidate of technical sciences, chairman of the Council of Young Scientists of the Dnipro State Agrarian and Economic University. At the same time, the speaker noted that the best products are able to give the body a large amount of biologically active substances. But so far, the state, in its opinion, does not care about the health of the population, and the quality control of products is entrusted to manufacturers. The latter received the right to be guided by the needs of customers, but they know very little about really good, healthy nutrition. In the EU countries, more attention is paid to healthy nutrition, significant funds are allocated for its provision. Svetlana herself, as a scientist and teacher, attracts students to create and implement projects for the production of functional foods (from germinated grain, for example). With a product such as amaranth, today in Ukraine it is difficult to enter the mass market, since society remains insufficiently educated. Amaranth Svetlana was interested in terms of obtaining products that provide health. As a scientist, she worked with amaranth to obtain bread and cookies. At the same time, different technologies were used, different recipes were used. Studies have shown that the quality of the final product depends on the variety of amaranth used for the production of flour.
Alexander Duda added, also relying on research data, that the manufacturers particularly appreciate the antioxidant properties of amaranth. Such properties were found both in amaranth flour and in products from it.
The issue of the price of amaranth was also raised by Andrei Shvedov, director of NPK Amarant. This company is known for the production of a unique oil – from the seeds of amaranth seeds. Based on this oil, the company also produces anti-aging cosmetics, recognized as effective by leading cosmetologists. According to Andrei Shvedov, the price of amaranth cannot be reduced, as this will be a step back. More important is the technology, especially cultivation. If there is more amaranth, then the volume of processing will increase. But Andrei Shvedov does not exclude the possibility that in 2-3 years, when amaranth becomes larger, the price will settle itself. That is, the price may decline, but in a natural way, and not by order. There cannot be a planned economy in amaranth. Amaranth is worth the money.
Alexander Sergienko, project manager of the Ecology of Life project, spoke about his experience. The aim of this project is to unite the manufacturer, processor and consumer. For 16 years, production and processing technologies, drugs and biological products have been studied. Based on various types of grain, 12 types of gluten-free bread were obtained. To achieve the production of biobread, the production of biological products has been established.
One of the reasons for the insufficient popularity of amaranth products and the high price for them is that technologists are not very willing to experiment. This opinion was expressed by Vadim Ometsinsky, founder of AGROSNAB LLC, the Filvarok trademark. The company produces 12 non-wheat flours and fruit and berry powders. Here, 4 years ago, amaranth flour was produced. Several types of bread and pastry have been developed. According to Vadim Ometsinsky, for amaranth to become mass, it must be used in combination products, added to bread, confectionery, and so on.
In general, the panel discussion revealed not only different opinions, but also an interest in the production of amaranth and in its popularization.