Four varieties of an Andean indigenous crop, quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.), were evaluated as a source of dietary fiber, phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity. The crops were processed by extrusion-cooking and the final products were analyzed to determine the dietary fiber, total polyphenols, radical scavenging activity, and in vitro digestibility of starch and protein. There were no significant differences in the contents of total dietary fiber between varieties of quinoa. In all cases, the contents of total and insoluble dietary fiber decreased during the extrusion process. At the same time, the content of soluble dietary fiber increased. The content of total phenolic compounds and the radical scavenging activity increased during the extrusion process in the case of all 4 varieties. There were significant differences between the varieties and the content of total polyphenols. The in vitro protein digestibility of quinoa varieties was between 76.3 and 80.5% and the in vitro starch digestibility was between 65.1 and 68.7%. Our study demonstrates that quinoa can be considered a good source of dietary fiber, polyphenols and other antioxidant compounds and that extrusion improves the nutritional value.
quinoa; Chenopodium quinoa Willd.; dietary fiber; bioactive compounds; extrusion