Improving health and making a profit have become the main benefits of amaranth for many. We are talking about those who consume oil and other processed products of this plant, and about those for whom the cultivation of crops and the production of products based on it has become a business. The circle of such people may become wider, but how quickly this will happen will be shown by the events on which the development of the amaranth industry depends.
Benefit for health
It is not necessary to take medications to improve health and strengthen immunity. So say people who have experienced the influence of amaranth products. In terms of increasing popularity, amaranth is no longer inferior to such superfoods as chia, caroba, flax or pecmese. Abroad, it is more often sold in the form of grains for germination, dried leaves as a spice. Groats and butter are also popular. Each of the products has its own characteristics and features of use. Let’s dwell on the main features of individual products.
Amaranth seeds contain:
- a large amount of carbohydrates and protein (100 g of the product contains 14 g of protein, which is twice as high as the protein in wheat);
- fiber, especially necessary for people who are on sports or dietary nutrition;
- low fat (7 g per 100 g seeds).
It also has a balanced content of protein and slow carbohydrates, and thanks to this, after consuming a minimum amount of a product based on amaranth seeds, the feeling of satiety remains for a long time, and the need for frequent snacks is eliminated. The low glycemic index in the seeds makes the product one of the main items on the diabetic menu. In addition, there are no harmful salts in amaranth seeds.
Amaranth seed oil, in comparison with popular types of vegetable oils, contains more balanced amino acids (omega-6, -7, -9) than others with similar components. But it is made especially valuable by two components that are not present together in any plant. It:
- squalene, which weakens the development of cancer cells and strengthens the immune system;
- vitamin E, and only amaranth contains its full form, and this is the most powerful fat-soluble antioxidant.
The oil obtained by the “direct extraction” method is practically completely retained and the oil is absorbed by the body.
The main advantage of amaranth cereals is the absence of gluten in its composition. It strengthens health, normalizes metabolism, and improves immunity.
Amaranth flour contains 3 times more protein than wheat flour. The product is appreciated by confectioners for the benefits that it gives to baked goods, and also for the fact that the freshness of bread and rolls is prolonged.
Other amaranth-based products are also useful for the body. Therefore, it is not surprising that the demand for them is growing, and as a result, the cultivation of crops becomes a profitable business.
Industry development and international market
The popularity of amaranth in the international market is growing, and this is due to the unique composition of proteins, amino acids, vitamins and trace elements contained in this culture. In many respects, amaranth is superior to other grains. So, according to the results of the analysis of the chemical composition of amaranth and cereals of foreign breeding (the seeds of wheat, rice and corn were also studied), the former leads in the amount of fat, protein and fiber, and the difference is almost double. Amaranth also retains the leading position in comparison with other cereals of domestic selection.
Amaranth has another advantage: it is unpretentious and grows well in Ukraine. The average yield is 2 tons per hectare, (under favorable conditions, up to 5), and the cost of a ton of seeds is about a thousand dollars. Thus, the prerequisites for the development of the amaranth business are being formed, and it is not surprising that farmers are sowing more and more areas with this crop. In 2019 alone, the sown area under amaranth increased sixfold and reached 4000 hectares.
More than 150 farms develop their own technologies for growing a unique crop, and their products become raw materials for processing enterprises. As a result, the assortment is increasing, the volumes of processing are increasing, and new sales channels are being laid. Among these enterprises we will see the already known ones. These are, in particular, the Runa seed farm, which organized a full cycle – from growing to processing amaranth, as well as selling it on the domestic market and for export. The enterprise has established channels for the sale of oil, flour, oilcake and amaranth leaves for tea. They plan to expand the land bank, increase the volume of processing and sales of products. Also famous are NPK Amarant (the company operates on the basis of a pharmaceutical factory in Nikolaev, and the assortment includes cosmetic cream-gel and hydrophilic oil, medicinal ointments, sprays, gels), Amaranth Commercial and Industrial Group, Halsey Generation, the company Nate Oil “. But most of the enterprises of the amaranth industry have just begun or are planning to grow a unique crop and produce products of its processing.
According to analysts from Pro-Consulting, if the company is engaged in the cultivation of amaranth, the sale of processed products (oil, oil extract, flour, granulated feed), each invested monetary unit gives up to 30% of net profit. The costs will pay off in less than 2.5 years (29.3 months). This is considered a good project, worthy of investment, a profitable investment in the development of both amaranth and the entire agro-industrial industry.
Many have already become convinced that amaranth is good for the body, and growing a crop and producing products based on it can be a profitable business. Naturally, a question arises on the part of newcomers, where to start, and on the part of experienced farmers and entrepreneurs – where to find support. Answers can be obtained during the conference “Niches. Technologies. Investments ”, which should take place on October 28 at the International Exhibition Center. One of the topics is “Technologies for growing and processing amaranth”, which will be presented by the chairman of the “Association of amaranth and amaranth products producers” Alexander Duda. The conference will also discuss other topics, for example, how to make money on niche products in Ukraine, investment in what kind of production will really become profitable.
Perhaps it is this conference that will add confidence to farmers and businesses that are striving to develop. Indeed, recently, micro, small and medium-sized agricultural enterprises have a chance to receive tangible support in order to successfully integrate into Ukrainian and international markets. The support is provided by the USAID Program, which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development and implemented by Kimonix International Inc. Within the framework of this Program, on August 17, another was launched – the Sub-Grant Program to promote the development of the confectionery and selected food value chain.