Sunday 19 July 2015

Pseudo-cereals | Chia and Quinoa Seeds

Why in news?

  • Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore (CSIR) is developing indigenous varieties of ‘super foods’ chia and quinoa to make the nutrition-rich grains affordable for Indian consumers.
  • Seeds of these plants are currently imported from Australia, the US and South American countries like Bolivia, and are sold at around Rs 2,000 per kg.
  • What is helpful for Indian soil conditions is that these two crops require very little water.
  • Farmers in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu were the first to receive these improvised seeds, and they have found it to be very profitable

What are Pseudocereals?

  • Among monocots, the economically most important family is Poaceae (Gramineae) --> true grasses 
    • Most of the common cereals - wheat, maize, rice, barley and millets are true cereals. 
      • So, true cereals are monocots. 
  • Pseudo-cereals - generally not monocots and not true grasses 
    • Amaranthus cruentus (Rajgir Sravani Math)
    • Buckwheat (Kuttu) 
    • Quinoa (Goosefoot) 
    • Breadnut 
SuperfoodsChia and quinoa, dubbed ‘super foods’ for their superior nutritional value, are consumed as seeds and can be beneficial supplements in a country like India that has a high index of malnutrition.
Chia seeds are very rich in omega-3 fatty acid and alpha linolenic acid while quinoa is a pseudo-cereal with high protein content and can be used as a low-carb, high-protein substitute for rice.

About Chia:

About Quinoa:

Quinoa is an important pseudo-cereal and recognizing its importance, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 as International Year for Quinoa.


[Source: Indian Express, Wikipedia,]


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