Quinoa leaf as a nutritional alternative

Alma Vázquez-Luna, Vanessa Cortés Pimentel, Francisco Fuentes Carmona, Rafael Díaz Sobac


Chenopodium quinoa is an herbaceous plant that possesses green polymorphic leaves. They are traditionally consumed in America and are considered nutritive vegetables. Most vegetables are considered valuable sources of micronutrients, such as mineral, vitamins, carbohydrates and dietetic fiber; however, because they are poor in proteins, they are considered to have no energetic value. The consumption of vegetables generates a satiety sensation and favors the reduction of total calories consumed. Quinoa leaves can be consumed raw when they are ripe or steam cooked; they retain most of their vitamins and minerals. The FAO considers quinoa to be the “perfect food”, and it is not only used in common diets, but it is also suitable for the unique diets of those that are vegetarian or high-performance athletes as well as those with celiac disease and diabetes. The objective of this work was to determine the nutritional value of quinoa leaves. For every test, dried and powdered quinoa leaves were used, and the following parameters were determined: total polyphenols, total flavonoids, proteins, carbohydrates, reducing sugars, water content, ash content, and raw fiber, and the flavonoids were determined by HPLC. The results obtained for the polyphenols were 131.8 ± 10.3 mg 100 g-1 and 62.07 ± 5.1 mg 100 g-1 for flavonoids, and the main compounds were gallic acid, kaempferol and catechin. The content of proteins was 11.8 ± 0.6%, the carbohydrates was 18.3 ± 0.9, the reducing sugars were 3.2 ± 0.27%, the water content was 2.8 ± 0.9%, the ash content was 1.4 ± 0.14%, and the raw fiber content was 43.7 ± 3.9%. Based on the nutritional profile and the content of polyphenols and total flavonoids, quinoa leaves can be considered an alternative for human consumption because they offer interesting potential in nutrients and antioxidant capacity, which is a dietary requirement.


Nutrient profile, phytochemicals, quinoa leaf

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7764/rcia.v46i2.2098

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