The nutritional value of raw and popped (similar to popcorn preparation) seed proteins of two amaranth species, Amaranthus caudatus L and A cruentus L, was investigated. After popping, the true protein content in A caudatus and A cruentus decreased by 9 and 13% respectively. Among the amino acids, the loss of tyrosine due to the popping effect was the highest, followed by phenylalanine and methionine. Leucine was the first limiting amino acid in the raw samples, followed by lysine, while the reverse order was observed in the popped samples. The in vivo protein quality of raw and popped seeds was tested with male weanling rats and compared with wheat flour and casein samples. There was no difference between the in vivo digestibility of the raw and the popped seeds, although the in vitro digestibility was slightly higher for the popped samples. The protein efficiency ratio (PER) for all the amaranth seed samples was higher than that for the wheat sample, while the PER for the raw amaranth seed samples was close to that for the casein reference protein. The rat blood serum levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol for all the amaranth samples were lower than those for the reference protein, while the wheat flour sample showed the lowest values. (C) 2004 Society of Chemical Industry.
- grain amaranth
- quality evaluation