We continue to acquaint you with the study of amaranth by foreign scientists. And today we will go to Chile. It was in this country, which, like some other Latin American states, the homeland of amaranth, was studied the rationality of the use of amaranth in the organization of nutrition for schoolchildren.
Research – joint. Conducted by Chilean and Mexican scientists from two universities: U. de Chile (Santiago, Chile) and de la Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa (Mexico City, Mexico).
Amaranth was chosen as an object of research for a good reason – because it is characterized by a high content of various nutrients. Therefore, scientists evaluated the specific content of vitamins and minerals, their digestibility by the body, as well as the creation of specific dishes, products from amaranth.
This project is funded by the Chilean Agency for Cooperation and Development (AGCID Chile).
Why exactly amaranth and what was established during the research?
Amaranth as an object of research was not chosen by chance. After all, it is no secret that this plant was widely used by the Aztecs in its culture and cooking. In addition, the plant is excellent in resisting drought, feels good even on not fertile, depleted soils. This is exactly the reason why Cecilie Baginsky, a scientist from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, gave a talk on “Promoting the Growing and Consumption of Amaranth: Potentiation of Chile – Mexico”.
Note! An Amaranth study in Chilikje was marked by elevated levels of fiber and calcium in addition to its antioxidant properties.
The project, whose financial support was taken over by the Chilean Agency for Development Cooperation, was submitted by the Ministry of Agriculture through its Secretariat with the support of the Ministry of Health.
It was especially noted that the project allows to ensure the development of the healthy nutrition industry. In particular, for schoolchildren. Indeed, as shown by the latest studies conducted in 2016, the obesity rate of schoolchildren has increased significantly. So, in 2015 this indicator was 22.8%, and in 2016 – 23.9% (and this is data for the first half of the year only). In general, the increase in the number of children suffering from obesity has been growing steadily for the past six years.
Therefore, it was decided to find new options for food – healthy, dietary. But at the same time – quite nutritious. Capable of providing the body with the necessary amount of vitamins and trace elements that will positively affect the overall development of the child.
Amaranth – rich in vegetable proteins. And this is its main advantage over other products. It also contains a high content of fiber, calcium, and iron. And in all these indicators, it is significantly superior to wheat.
Due to its composition, amaranth can act as a natural product capable of performing complete diabetes prevention. In addition, he showed increased antioxidant properties.
For research, several amaranth plantations were sown in different regions of the country. In the cultivation of culture used methods, gleaned by Chilean researchers from Mexican colleagues.
According to the academician of the agricultural production department of the Faculty of Agronomical Sciences Paola Silva, several varieties have been planted, distinguished by the time of appearance of inflorescences and maturity. However, for final conclusions and accurate results, it is necessary to obtain as much information as possible about the overall level of yield and the final quality of the grain.
In turn, Anna Pinheiro, Technical Advisor, Department of Nutrition, Ministry of Health, the next stages of the project will be implemented in the second half of 2017.
How can you use amaranth: the findings of Chileans
Amaranth can be used in various ways. In particular, suitable for eating:
For example, the same grains may be added to bread. Various pastries are also made from flour.
The leaves resemble spinach, they have an increased iron content. They are a great addition to vegetable dishes.
Finally, according to chef Juan Pablo Ponce, a member of the project, “100% amaranth can be used in the kitchen, because it is ideal for organizing daily food for people.” In the project itself, Ponce was responsible for experimenting with various amaranth dishes, including casseroles, jams, chips, mustard, and even amaranth hamburgers.
By the way, according to Professor Carmen Saenz, one of the participants in the experiment, in the same India amaranth leaves are called spinach for the poor. Today, however, Chilean experts are working to identify the most suitable for eating a variety of amaranth. That is, find out in what form of plants the highest content of proteins and vitamins.
According to the research results, recommendations will be made regarding the inclusion of amaranth products in the diet of schoolchildren.