Amaranth – a great addition to the daily diet. Everyone who has tried amaranth once in their life knows about it. All parts of a plant can be used as food – seeds, herbs, oil, flour. Amaranth has a high nutritional value, it contains a large amount of vitamins, essential amino acids. Numerous studies have shown that amaranth is able to provide the human body with the necessary set of elements that are important for full-fledged vital activity.
Today we want to present to your attention the next work, the authors of which are Yu.F. Roslyakov, N.A. Shmalko, L.K. Bochkova. It was published in the journal “News of High Schools. North Caucasus region. Technical science”. 2004. № 4. Name of work: “Prospects for the use of amaranth in the food industry.”
The work will be interesting not only to food manufacturers, representatives of the food industry, but also to all who monitor their health, independently preparing healthy and nutritious meals. Today we publish material adapted for our site, based on the above article.
Amaranth – valuable technical, feed, food and medicinal culture
Human health is directly related to the food that he consumes daily. For its normal vital activity, proper nutrition is of great importance, creating the necessary conditions for optimal well-being, maintaining good health and efficiency of the human body.
The increasing industrialization and scientific and technical progress of the civilization of humanity from the point of view of medicine are no longer evaluated as an exclusively progressive phenomenon. Along with the adverse effects of man-made and anthropogenic factors, insufficient human consumption of natural food components comes to the fore, which leads to metabolic disorders and numerous diseases.
With this quality of nutrition, the population of developed countries begins to deteriorate in terms of both natural reduction and deterioration of the gene pool.
To improve the overall level of food quality and nutrition, the authors of the article recommend to introduce into their daily, traditional diet nutritional supplements characterized by the highest taste and nutritional properties. These products include amaranth seeds, as well as their processed products.
Amaranth – is the most valuable technical, feed, food and medicinal culture, gaining its popularity only in recent years.
Amaranth – a plant originally from antiquity
In pre-Columbian times, the colonization of the American continent had not yet begun, amaranth was the main food culture of the American continent. At that time, amaranth was just as important in the diet of the native population of the Americas as corn and beans. Aztec and amaranth
Archaeological research, excavations conducted by historians in the ancient settlement of Tehuahane – modern Pueblo (Mexico), showed that more than 6000 years ago, the unique gift of nature was widespread in all Indian ethnic groups, and the cult of the plant flourished during the time of Aztec civilization domination on the American continent.
According to historians who have studied the culture of the American people, the ancient Aztecs believed that eating amaranth seeds strengthens not only the physical body, but also the spirit.
Amaranth received a talking name – “the magic grain of the Aztecs”, “the golden grain of God.” The grain of this magnificent plant was valued so highly that it was a kind of gold equivalent. In addition, it was used as currency. In particular, by means of amaranth payment of taxes and taxes was carried out.
Interestingly! In addition to the use of products derived from plants for food, the Aztecs used amaranth herbs to produce purple dye, which was later widely used in various pagan rituals.
However, according to historians, with the advent of the Spanish colonialists and the forced introduction of Christianity among the indigenous population of the American continent, pagan rituals began to be actively supplanted. Including, the colonizers began to fight the plant amaranth. The cult of amaranth was proclaimed by the Spaniards, who were actively promoting their culture and tradition, idolatry. That is why the plant was officially forbidden not only to grow. Under the ban was its use. Crops, seeds, seed amaranth simply burned. Those who violated the ban were executed.
Unfortunately, such an active struggle with the plant led to the fact that amaranth remained in oblivion for many centuries. He was even threatened with extinction. At least in the Americas.
The renewal of practical interest in amaranth dates back to the 20th century. Currently, it is widely distributed in almost all parts of the world:
- in North America (USA, Canada, Mexico);
- in South America (Guatemala, Peru, Chile, Argentina);
- in Europe (Germany, France, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Russia);
- in Asia (India, China);
- in Africa (Ethiopia, South Africa);
- and other countries.
Amaranth on the territory of the former USSR
On the territory of the former USSR, the need to use amaranth in agriculture as a promising feed and food culture was pointed out in 1932 by Academician N.I. Vavilov in his famous “Program for the use of world plant resources.”
However, after his tragic death in the camp, where he was imprisoned on a false charge, the scientific and research work with amaranth, initiated by him, was discontinued.
On the territory of the countries of the former USSR, varieties of amaranth (Legin, Skif, Ultra, Aztec, Cream Early, Valentina, Kharkiv), entered in the registers of the Commonwealth countries, are zoned.
However, amaranth is not yet widely cultivated in Russian fields, while expensive protein, vitamin and mineral preparations have to be bought abroad, although there is a culture available that could provide the country with an additional amount of valuable food components.
What is the uniqueness of the chemical composition of amaranth seeds?
The uniqueness of the chemical composition of amaranth seeds is determined by the following indicators. The total protein of amaranth seeds consists of 28–35% of essential amino acids, the high content of which is due to the content of lysine, isoleucine and tyrosine with phenylalanine.
Its fractional composition is characterized by a high content of water-soluble proteins (42.5–51.6% of the total amount of proteins) and the almost complete absence of alcohol and alkaline soluble proteins compared to other cereals.
The content of lipids in amaranth seeds varies from 6.7 to 7.9%, of which triglycerols account for from 77 to 83%, phospholipids from 2.7 to 4.3%, and sterol esters from 3.1 to 6 % for indelible sterols – from 8.9 to 9.8%.
Amaranth triglycerols contain free saturated and unsaturated fatty acids:
- myristic (0.2%);
- palmitic (16.9–19.7%);
- stearin (19.5–21.6%);
- oleic (19.5–21.6%);
- linoleic acid (42.0–43.7%).
In unsaponable lipids, the content of sterols (as a percentage of total lipids) ranges from 3 to 3.4%, 4-methylsterols – 0.3–0.6%, terpene alcohols – 0.1–0.2%. Of these, the most biologically active substances are phytosterols involved in the synthesis of cholesterol, and 4-methylsterols that inhibit oxidative polymerization of fats.
The content of amaranth seeds in vitamin E, which is one of the most powerful antioxidants, ranges from 113 to 192 mg%, of which α-tocopherols account for 5 to 10%, β and γ-tocopherols from 70 to 80%, σ-tocopherols up to 20%.
The content of squalene, the most active antioxidant and participant in the synthesis of steroid hormones, varies from 3.8 to 6.7%, and biologically significant carotenoids – from 0.45 to 1.12 mg%. Amaranth seeds contain mono- and oligosaccharides, with the main components being:
- sucrose (68.6%);
- raffinose (16.3%);
- monosaccharides (8.5%);
- stachyosis (6.6%).
Amaranth seeds contain more than 60% of fine-grained starch, which is of interest both for the food industry and for the perfumery and cosmetic industry.
Due to the fact that the fruit coat of amaranth seeds constitutes a significant part of the seed, the content of dietary fibers, for example fiber, in food light-colored samples ranges from 3.9 to 4.9%, and in dark-colored samples – from 14.3 to 16.5%.
Amaranth seeds also contain significant amounts of vitamins and minerals. The content of vitamins is (mg / 100g):
- thiamine – 0.1;
- riboflavin – 0.21;
- niacin – 1.31.
The mineral content is (mg / 100 g):
- phosphorus – 455;
- potassium – 420;
- magnesium – 288;
- calcium – 187;
- sodium – 32;
- iron – 10;
- zinc – 3.8;
- copper – 0.9.
Note! Iron and copper are concentrated in the embryo, and calcium, magnesium and sodium are in the seed coat of amaranth.
Amaranth seeds contain little anti-nutritional substances such as trypsin inhibitor, tannins and phytic acid. The number of mycotoxins, aflatoxins and zearalenone in amaranth seeds is significantly less than in other cereals, hemagglutinins and saponins are contained in terms of food safety within acceptable limits.
Amaranth Vegetable Forms
Amaranth vegetable forms are considered as a potential source of coloring pigments, protein and vitamins. Amaranth dyes are represented by red (amaratin) and yellow (betaxanthin) pigments.
Amaranth leaves contain a large amount of protein (up to 38.3%), carotenoids, vitamins C, B1, B2, B12, E, flavonoids with P-activity (rutin, quercetin, trifolien) and pectin, in their complex-forming ability is not inferior to apple pectin .
Amaranth seed processing products
Researchers are actively developing technologies for the complex processing of amaranth seeds to obtain from them a whole range of food and medicinal products: mechanical and heat treatment products, amaranth oil, squalene, CO2-extracts, protein additives, starch and pectin.
Products of machining of amaranth seeds, for example whole-ground flour, are obtained by grinding the seeds on roller machines or disintegrators without removing the seed coat. In order to increase the functional properties of the proteins of such flour, its additional processing is carried out with proteolytic or amylolytic enzymes.
To obtain products of processing of thermally treated amaranth seeds, it is proposed to extrude or roast them. Extrusion processing helps to reduce the content of trypsin and increase protein digestibility, as well as improve the organoleptic characteristics of the resulting product.
Flour from roasted seeds of amaranth contains more protein, dietary fiber, minerals than flour from native seeds. A special place among products of complex processing of amaranth seeds is amaranth oil, which in its fatty acid composition approaches corn oil and contains up to 77% of unsaturated fatty acids, which are mainly represented by polyunsaturated acids of the ω – 3 family.
Developed technologies for producing CO2-extracts from amaranth seeds, containing in its composition:
- useful essential oils;
- fat-like substances;
- vitamin E;
- polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Researchers pay much attention to the development of technologies for obtaining protein products from amaranth seeds. Taking into account the peculiarities of the fractional composition of proteins of amaranth seeds, protein concentrates, isolates, protein-polysaccharide complexes with high digestibility, water solubility and emulsifying ability were obtained.
Amaranth seeds are also a promising raw material for the production of starch, which has a fine-crystalline structure, consisting of starch grains of regular spherical shape.
When carrying out its enzymatic treatment with amylases, starch products with different contents of easily digestible sugars were obtained. For nutritional purposes, native amaranth seeds, products of mechanical and heat treatment of amaranth seeds (whole ground flour, “blasted” amaranth seeds, modified flour obtained from thermally treated amaranth seeds), products of deep biochemical processing (protein preparations, lipid-protein complexes, starch products) are used. ) with high nutritional value and functional properties.
These additives are used for the manufacture of bakery, confectionery and pasta, dairy and meat products, mayonnaise, energy drinks, beer and others.
Despite the fact that the processing of amaranth is still at an initial stage and is limited mainly to the production of medicines and dietary products, some of them are becoming very popular.
Therefore, it is advisable to conduct additional research to determine the possible prospects for the use of amaranth in the food industry of the 21st century. And who knows if the prophetic words of American amaranth activist John Lehmann will not come true in this century: “The question is not whether amaranth will become the main grain crop, but when it will become it?”.