Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.): composition, chemistry, nutritional, and functional properties

Adv Food Nutr Res. 2009;58:1-31. doi: 10.1016/S1043-4526(09)58001-1.


Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.), which is considered a pseudocereal or pseudograin, has been recognized as a complete food due to its protein quality. It has remarkable nutritional properties; not only from its protein content (15%) but also from its great amino acid balance. It is an important source of minerals and vitamins, and has also been found to contain compounds like polyphenols, phytosterols, and flavonoids with possible nutraceutical benefits. It has some functional (technological) properties like solubility, water-holding capacity (WHC), gelation, emulsifying, and foaming that allow diversified uses. Besides, it has been considered an oil crop, with an interesting proportion of omega-6 and a notable vitamin E content. Quinoa starch has physicochemical properties (such as viscosity, freeze stability) which give it functional properties with novel uses. Quinoa has a high nutritional value and has recently been used as a novel functional food because of all these properties; it is a promising alternative cultivar.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chenopodium quinoa / chemistry*
  • Chenopodium quinoa / metabolism*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / analysis
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / analysis
  • Dietary Proteins / analysis
  • Functional Food / analysis
  • Humans
  • Nutritive Value
  • Seeds / chemistry*
  • Starch / chemistry


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Starch