Quinoa Protein Concentrate: Food- and/or Pharmaceutical-Grade Concentrate & Methods

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Technology is Licensed
IP Status

US Utility Patent: US 7563473


Laurie Scanlin
Martha Stone

At A Glance

The present invention relates to a quinoa protein concentrate containing at least about 50 wt % protein and a method of processing quinoa (Genus: Chenopodium, Species: quinoa, Family: Chenopodiaceae) grain (also called quinoa seed, quinua, grain-like seed, pseudocereal, and fruit) to produce such protein concentrate, oil, starch, and fiber.

Licensing Director

Jillian Lang

Reference No.:  04-019


Plant proteins, processed from cereal grains and legumes, are profitable ingredients in a wide variety of commercial food products, pet foods, and animal feed. Examples of the plant proteins that are currently available are soy protein concentrate, isolated soy protein, wheat gluten, rice, and corn proteins [Food Master (2003) Ingredients and R&D services catalog. Bensenville Ill. Business News Publishing Co. II. LLC].

As world food demands steadily increase, production of protein has to be maximized, as well as augmented. Plant proteins from cereals and legumes represent the main source of proteins and energy supply for both human and animal nutrition. This is partly due to the fact that animal proteins require much higher energy demand for production and are therefore more expensive to produce than plant proteins [Cheftel, J C et al. (1985) In: Fennema Oreg., editor. Food Chemistry, 2nd ed. New York: Marcel Dekker. ppg. 245-369]. For example, in order to produce 1 kg of animal protein, 3-20 kg of plant protein is needed. Consequently, as demands for animal protein increase globally, the need for plant protein increases drastically. To meet this need, new protein resources must be developed. Protein-rich crops that give equitable yields in underutilized growing regions are of paramount value for this purpose. Alternatively, new crops can be selected and tested for a protein source.

Technology Overview

The present invention provides a new source of plant protein, termed “quinoa protein concentrate (QPC)”, prepared from quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Chenopodiaceae) grain, which contains at least about 50 wt % protein, preferably at least about 70 wt % protein, most preferably at least about 90 wt % protein, on a dry weight basis. The QPC of the invention is high in lysine and histidine, and methionine and cystine, which are often limiting in plant proteins of grains and legumes, respectively. Additionally, quinoa is considered to be hypo-allergenic (even non-allergenic), as opposed to key plant allergens, soy and wheat. Therefore, the quinoa protein concentrate is useful as food ingredients and supplements to provide nutrients as well as necessary functionality in a variety of food products including infant formula, pet foods and animal feeds. For example, the QPC can be added in a variety of products such as foods for infants and toddlers, meat analogs, ice creams, whipped toppings, baked products, and salad dressings and the like, to reduce water activity, reduce fat, bind ingredients, emulsify, and/or stabilize foams. The QPC of the invention are particularly useful as an ingredient to fortify the amino acid composition of corn- or rice-based food products, which are also considered to be hypo-allergenic, but are either low in protein content or limiting in essential amino acid, lysine. The QPC can be used as a protein source in food or cosmetic products intended for use in subjects who require less- or hypo-allergenic food products. In addition, QPC can serve as a high quality, plant protein in pet foods and animal feeds like cattle feed, since the FDA banned the use of animal protein in cattle feed as a preventative measure against bovine spongiform encephalopathy (i.e., BSE or mad cow disease) [DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (2004), Food and Drug Administration, 21 CFR Parts 189 and 700, [Ser. No. 10/688773, Use of Materials Derived From Cattle in Human Food and Cosmetics].

  • Hypo-allergenic
  • Protein concentrate is useful as a food ingredient and/or supplement
  • High in Histidine – essential amino acid for infant development and those with chronic disease
  • Immunochemically safe and represents a viable alternative for gluten-free products
  • Can be added to a variety of food products or cosmetics
  • Food Products – fortify corn or rice based food products; protein source; hypo-allergenic
  • Cosmetics – protein; hypoallergenic
  • Pet foods – high quality plant protein (including cattle feed)

Last updated: March 2020

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#CSUInvents – #TechTuesday! #innovation #plantbased #proteins are profitable #ingredients in a wide variety of commercial products – human & #petfood, #animalnutrition, and #cosmetics. Researchers at Colorado State University have #patented a quinoa protein concentrate (QPC) that is high in lysine, histidine, methionine, and cystine, which are often limited in plant proteins. Additionally, the QPC is considered to be hypo-allergenic (even non-allergenic), as opposed to soy and wheat #allergens . The QPC can be used as a protein source in food/feed or cosmetic products, especially those intended for use in subjects who require less- or hypo-allergenic products.

Inventors include: Laurie Scanlin and Professor Martha Stone, CSU College of Health and Human Sciences, department of Food Science & Human Nutrition.

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