General Information

What is quinoa?

Quinoa was a staple food of the ancient civilizations of the Andes of South America, and is mainly grown in the Andean Countries of Peru and Bolivia. It is sometimes called a pseudo-cereal because of its grain like appearance and sometimes a pseudo-oilseed because of its high content of fat*.
The taxonomic classification is:
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Amaranthaceae
Subfamily: Chenopodioideae
Genus: Chenopodium
Specie: Chenopodium quinoa Willd.
Because of its high nutritional value, indigenous peoples and researchers often refer to it as “the golden ‘grain’ of the Andes.”

What does quinoa taste like?

Quinoa has a very delicate taste, often described as nutty or earthy. Quinoa has an interesting texture that can add crunchiness to almost any recipe.

Is quinoa the same as amaranth?

No. Although amaranth (Amaranthus caudatus L.) and quinoa belong to the same family, and are both originally from the Latin American region, amaranth is a different crop species.* When boiled Amaranth turns into a porridge like consistency, whereas Quinoa maintains its crunchy texture, hence its more versatile in daily cooking.

Why quinoa - what are its distinct properties?

Quinoa is known for its:
Adaptability to climatic conditions, different quinoa varieties are known to grow in a temperature range from – 4 degrees to 35 degrees Celsius and from sea level to 4000 meters above sea level.
Hardiness. Certain quinoa varieties can grow under difficult conditions, as they are drought tolerant and resistant to salinity. Quinoa grows in highlands and in lowlands, thus proving its versatility as a real climate smart crop.
Low production costs.
Environmentally friendly: Quinoa’s great adaptability to climate variability and its efficient use of water make it an excellent alternative crop in the face of climate change.
Nutritional qualities: Quinoa is a healthy food due to its high nutritional value. What distinguishes quinoa from most other plant foods, except for legumes, is its high protein content. Quinoa contains all the essential amino acids and is also rich in minerals, vitamins, fatty acids and other nutrients.
Praised by NASA as an ideal crop for inclusion in possible future long-term space missions when crops would need to be grown on a spacecraft.
Ethical qualities: In Rajasthan, production remains family-based and all organic. Production has increased the income of lower-income farmers in the Jaisalmer / Hanumangarh region, especially in the last few years.

Consumption

Is quinoa a nutritious food?

Yes. Quinoa is considered a nutritious food because it is a good source of many nutrients, which when consumed with other foods can be a great part of a balanced diet. Quinoa is most known for its protein content. Compared to other plant foods, quinoa is generally higher in protein than most grains, while lower in protein than most legumes. Quinoa also has a favorable balance between its essential amino acid content compared to other plant foods. Finally, quinoa is a good source of energy and dietary fibre, and has significant amounts of minerals such as iron and zinc.

What else can quinoa be used for, apart from eating?

Animal Feed: The whole plant is used as green forage. Harvest residue is also used to feed cattle, sheep, pigs, horses and poultry.
Medicinal Use: Quinoa leaves, stems and grains have been used traditionally by the indigenous peoples of the Andes for medicinal purposes: healing wounds, reducing swelling, soothing pain (toothache) and disinfecting the urinary tract. They are also used in bone setting, internal bleeding, and as insect repellents.
Nutraceutical Use: A quinoa protein concentrate which is food- or pharmaceutical-grade has the potential use as an ingredient in human or animal nutrition supplements.
Pharmaceutical Use: Saponins extracted from the bitter quinoa variety have properties that can induce changes in intestinal permeability and assist in the absorption of particular medications.
Industrial Uses: Quinoa starch has excellent stability in freeze-thaw conditions, and could provide an alternative to chemically modified starches*. The starch has special potential for industrial use because of the small size of the starch grain, for example in aerosol production, pulps, self-copy paper, dessert foods, excipients in the plastics industry, talcs and anti off-set powders.
In addition to the industrial use of the quinoa grain, the saponins from the pericarp of the bitter quinoa variety have the ability to be used in different beneficial forms. The saponins extracted from the pericarp of bitter quinioa form a foam in aqueous solutions, leading to possible applications in detergents, toothpaste, shampoos, or soaps.**The use of saponin as a bio-pesticide was also shown to have potential in a successful demonstration carried out in Bolivia.***

Production & Quality & Community

Where does Organic Farmers Co. farm it Quinoa?

All of our crops are currently cultivated in the state of Rajasthan, specifically the areas of Chomu, Jaisalmer, Bikaner & Hanumangarh; where although water is scarce, the soil is rich with minerals and untouched for the most part.

Does Organic Farmers Co. have its own farm land?

Small-scale farmers make all of our products. We work intimately with them and the land to ensure that the highest quality ingredients and the most innovative farming techniques are employed. This results in harvests of high quality, organic food that is nutritious and ethically grown.

How do we impact the community living around the farms?

Our hand sorting, washing and dehulling processes are undertaken by household women of the village. This encourages skill development and resource building, women’s empowerment and all round community development for the village.

How do we maintain quality at every step in the supply chain?

We partner with export quality manufacturers that maintain international standards and invest in technology and correct machinery. We narrow down our factories by carefully surveying the entire process and of course the final taste of the product.

Our Products

Are all OFC products 100% Gluten Free?

While we try to cater to gluten free customers as much as we can, respecting native food traditions and use of authentic ingredients to deliver the perfect texture and taste is also our priority. Therefore, our Quinoa & Semolina Pasta is the only product that is not 100% Gluten free as it contains Durum Wheat Semolina, the key ingredient in Pasta.

Is our packaging 100% Biodegradable?

Currently our outer packaging is made out of recycled kraft paper. Some products still use recycled plastic for the inside containers. We aim to eliminate plastic completely and shift to recycled paper once the technology becomes more advance in order to maintain the shelf life of the product without compromise.

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