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Protein Quality of Amaranth Grains Cultivated in Ethiopia as Affected by Popping and Fermentation

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DOI: 10.4236/fns.2015.61005    3,659 Downloads   4,625 Views Citations


The effect of popping and fermentation on protein quality of three different varieties of amaranth grains cultivated in Ethiopia was evaluated. Total lysine content of the grains was higher than that of commonly available cereals but close to that of legumes. Methionine and cysteine contents in the grains were also higher than that found in cereal and legume proteins. Percentage of total indispensable amino acids, excluding tryptophan, was 43% - 49%, which was higher than WHO reference pattern (31%). Popping resulted in 36% and 37% reduction in total lysine and cysteine contents, respectively, whereas fermentation reduced cysteine, lysine and methionine contents by 16%, 20% and 20%, respectively. From the free amino acids, histidine was the major indispensable amino acid but threonine was not detected. During popping, all free amino acids, except threonine, were reduced. On the other hand, fermentation significantly increased (p < 0.01) most amino acids except arginine, which was significantly decreased (p < 0.01), and tyrosine and glutamic acid, for which no change was observed. Popping decreased in vitro protein digestibility (IVPD) by 8.3% - 17.1% while fermentation increased IVPD by 4.8% - 7.5%. Substitution of amaranth for wheat and/or maize during complementary food formulation could contribute much to the daily requirements of indispensable amino acids of young children.

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Amare, E. , Mouquet-Rivier, C. , Servent, A. , Morel, G. , Adish, A. and Haki, G. (2015) Protein Quality of Amaranth Grains Cultivated in Ethiopia as Affected by Popping and Fermentation. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 6, 38-48. doi: 10.4236/fns.2015.61005.

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