30.09.2022: Biodiversity for Vegan Lysine.
Plant proteins are usually depleted from the important amino acid lysine. In a vegan diet, lysine must therefore often be complemented. The alternative to the lysine pill would be plant foods with a high lysine content. In his Master thesis, Johannes Gröne has, therefore, measured more than 80 different Amaranth genotypes from the KIT collection and found substantial differences. Ideal would be 45 mg/g protein. Beef or Thuna as lysine-rich foods reach up to 20 mg/g. Rice has only one tenth of this, wheat only one fifth. The champion in our collection is the kiwicha (Amaranthus caudatus) genotype 8301 with 22 mg/g. It originates from the region of Cusco. On the other hand, genotype 8300, from the same region, shows only 15 mg/g, which is much less. Together with his supervisor, Dr. Adnan Kanbar, Johannes Gröhe could poinpoint, which genes of lysine biosynthesis are crucial here and how their activity depends on the environment. On the base of this knowledge, it is now possible to breed lysine rich varieties. Contact: Prof. Dr. Peter Nick
AMOR - Amaranth, the Superfood of the Inka revisited
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.