09.12.2021: German-Peruvian Project Meeting.

On December 09, the progress of the project was reported on a meeting of all partners. The gene-marker based test for authenticity of Peruvian Amaranth was already successfully applied, also with material that had been collected in July of this year in Peru (image). Furthermore, the different options to further increase the content of Omega-3 Fatty Acids were discussed. The participant representatives of the companies emphasised, how important it is to find a plant alternative for DHA from fish oil, since due to climate change the content of DHA in sea fish is progressively decreasing. In addition, the project partners were encouraged to secure and develop the promising results in a sequel project. First discussions on this possibility have already started.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Peter Nick

AMOR - Amaranth, the Superfood of the Inka revisited

AMaranth as source of Omega fatty acids and gluten free grains: Marker-assisted bReeding and cultivar selection to obtain functional healthy oils and raw materials for food-processing

Amaranth was the Superfood of the Inka. Their esteem for this relative of the better known Quinoa was that high that they even worshipped this plant as deity. For this reason, the Spanish posed the cultivation Amaranth under punishment since it was considered as "idolatry". Only in the 1970ies the Peruvian scientist Luis Kalinowski discovered several plants, that had been secretly grown by Indio families for ritual purposes, and ventured to promote Amaranth cultivation in Peru.

In the meantime, Amaranth is also known in Europe and is traded, mostly in popped form, as component of Muesli, bars, or even chocolates. Less known is Amaranth oil that hides exciting potential. Especially the discovery that this oil contains the highly valuable Omega-3-Fatty Acids (which we normally have to take up from sea fish), opens new perspectives for a vegan diet (forget about fish oil capsules!).

In our German-Peruvian cooperation project, this potential will be unlocked for the nutrition industry. At the same time, we will develop science-based quality standards to contribute to more consumer safety.