Title of the project*:
Prefeasibility project of a dry process for bitter quinoa varieties, based on the application of a spouted bed
Carla Quiroga Ledezma, Ph.D.
Ramiro Escalera Vázquez, Ph.D.
Ing. MSc. Luis Artega W.
Ing. Francisco Montaño
Mgr. Ricardo Nogales
Important Link: Strategic Research Program in Bolivia - PIEB
Quinoa is an Andean natural resource with exceptional nutritional properties. Its cultivation is encouraged with the purpose of contributing to food security and generating exports, in order to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants of one of the most impoverished and ecologically fragile areas of Bolivia.
Quinoa varieties most used for domestic consumption and export, contain between 0,6 and 3,0% of saponins in the episperm of the grains, which are bitter alkaloids that must be removed before eating.
The most advanced processes of debittering of the quinoa grains consist of three steps: a soft scarification not to destroy the grain, followed by a wash with agitation and several rinses, and a drying. Washing and rinsing consume significant amounts of water (5 - 14 m3 ton of product), which is a scarce resource in the region where quinoa is processed, and generate effluents contaminated with saponins which are toxic for cold-blooded species.
The UPB proposed the development of an optimized dry process, through the novel use of a spouted bed reactor.
* The project had the financing of the Strategic Research Project of Bolivia PIEB