Tricolor Quinoa Phenotyping - powerful tool to ensure quinoa blend quality

Updated: Oct 14, 2018

Quinoa, an incredibly nutritious grain crop native to South America that cultivated for its edible seeds, has been domesticated for thousands of years. It is considered a quintessential superfood, due to the fact that it contains complete protein with all 9 essential amino acids unlike other whole grains, is high in vitamins and fiber and low in fat, starch and gluten. It is also very versatile in terms of its culinary usage and can be used in a wide variety of recipes, and can replace traditional high-starch grains such as rice.

As consumers are becoming more and more health conscious in many parts of the world, the demand for quinoa has skyrocketed worldwide. Not all quinoas are created equal though, as there are different kinds with different colors, most commonly white, red and black. The taste, texture, flavors of these different colored quinoa are all different, and the price of each color of quinoa is different too. To achieve a certain taste or texture, food companies have created blends of various colored quinoas, often called “tricolor quinoa.” Tricolor quinoa has become a very popular product among consumers. However, how can food companies ensure that their final product of blend of tricolor quinoa is of a consistent quality? It might be hard to imagine that in 2018, a lot of this still comes down to human visual inspection, which is susceptible to error. This creates an issue because the nutrition label on food product packages typically specify a particular blend ratio of individual quinoa varieties included in a particular tricolor quinoa product, but often times companies can’t really know for sure that their final packaged products actually match the precise blend specifications in the nutrition label, which creates problems for food companies from the standpoint of consistency, regulatory compliance, and perhaps most importantly, consumer satisfaction.

To solve this problem, it