Quinoa: Nutritional, functional, and antinutritional aspects

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2017 May 24;57(8):1618-1630. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2014.1001811.


We have prepared a review of the physical-chemical composition and the functional and anti-nutritional properties of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.). It is a plant of the Chenopodiaceae family, originally from the Andean regions, adaptable to different types of soils and climatic conditions. Its composition has attracted the attention of scientific community for its high nutritional value, being rich in proteins, lipids, fibers, vitamins, and minerals, with an extraordinary balance of essential amino acids. It is also gluten-free, a characteristic that enables its use by celiac patients. In spite of all these attributes, quinoa is not widely used by consumers due to the high cost of imported grain and little knowledge of its benefits. More studies are required to increase knowledge about this "pseudo-cereal" to demonstrate its functional and nutritional benefits and to study its anti-nutritional effects, since it presents high commercial value and excellent nutritional quality.

Keywords: Chenopodium quinoa Willd.; anti-nutritional factors; celiac disease; functional properties; nutritional value.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids, Essential / analysis
  • Antioxidants / analysis
  • Chenopodium quinoa / chemistry*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / analysis
  • Dietary Fats / analysis
  • Dietary Fiber / analysis
  • Dietary Proteins / analysis
  • Flavonoids / analysis
  • Humans
  • Micronutrients / analysis
  • Nitrates / analysis
  • Nutritive Value*
  • Oxalates / analysis
  • Phytic Acid / analysis
  • Polyphenols / analysis
  • Saponins / analysis
  • Tannins / analysis
  • Trypsin Inhibitors / analysis
  • Whole Grains / chemistry


  • Amino Acids, Essential
  • Antioxidants
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Flavonoids
  • Micronutrients
  • Nitrates
  • Oxalates
  • Polyphenols
  • Saponins
  • Tannins
  • Trypsin Inhibitors
  • Phytic Acid