Quinoa is a protein-rich pseudo-grain that originates from South America and is becoming very popular in Flanders. ILVO and its partners from the Flemish quinoa platform are investigating whether (and how) quinoa could become a new crop in Flanders.
Quinoa cultivation in Flanders
Quinoa is a protein-rich pseudo-grain that originates from South America. Most of the quinoa on the shelves today is still imported from South America, with Peru and Bolivia leading the way. But growers as well as (food) processors and retailers are asking to investigate the crop’s potential for Flanders.
News | 16/09/2022
Quinoa, soy, chickpea, dry beans...and the parched field of 2022: results
Quinoa, soy, chickpea and dry bean, intended for the human food chain, are hardly grown in our region at present, if at all. But they represent promising new agricultural crops in ILVO's cultivation and/or breeding research.
Second, we conduct production pilots and experiments to examine prospects for horizontal upscaling production from farm to regional scale for four different crops under saline conditions: New Zealand spinach, potatoes, quinoa and tomatoes (WP2).
Studied crops are wheat, soybean, quinoa, rice and maize. We identify resilient genotypes and molecular markers linked with better yield and nutritional quality traits within a climate change context (water stress, elevated temperature and [CO2]).
ChicoryDry beansEdamameCalendula 2020 / 2017Chickpea(Grass)/CloverLentilsAlfalfaMiscanthusOil pumpkinRussian dandelionSoy 2020 / 2017Sorghum(grain) (fodder)Quinoa 2020 / 2017Field beanFlax
Demo: how to develop a new application from scratch – Simon Cool (ILVO)Soy and quinoa contain high levels of protein, and these crops represent an interesting plant-based protein source for human consumption. Their protein levels can differ, however, depending on the variety, growing conditions, and time of harvest.
What does the protein from e.g. quinoa or beans taste like, and what is the mouthfeel [dossier voeding smaak etc]?What nutritional value do they have, and that both on a macro and micro level?What clever combinations of protein sources are there to include all the essential amino acids?Are the proteins easily digestible?
Examples are quinoa, chickpea, and sorghum.
Furthermore, some species are already known in the Flemish agricultural context, but that are still underutilized or may gain in importance if we are more likely to suffer from drought during the growing season. Examples are tall fescue and alfalfa.
Also read the dossier on Water in agriculture.