Workshop promotes quinoa and maca from Peru

Thursday, Jul 30, 2015 15:46

Quinoa Tabbouleh – a Peruvian nutritious dish made from quinoa. — Photo

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Agricultural experts from Viet Nam and Peru and representatives from the ministries of health and commerce attended a workshop on quinoa and maca on July 29 in Ha Noi.

Luis Tsuboyama, Chief of Mission at the Peruvian embassy, said the workshop aimed to introduce quinoa and maca, two agricultural products of Peru, to the Vietnamese people as well as promote their sales in Viet Nam.

Jose Luis Rabines from Peru's agriculture ministry briefly introduced the diversified agricultural products of Peru, and spoke about quinoa and maca in more detail.

Quinoa is a species of the goosefoot genus. It is a grain grown primarily for its edible seeds and is an important ingredient of Peruvian cuisine.

Rabines said quinoa was a rich source of vitamin B complexes such as thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and folate and several dietary minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. It is cultivated mainly on the Andes mountain range, 2,700m to 4,100m above the sea level. Thanks to its nutritious value, it has been dubbed the "Andean golden grain".

He said his country has been exporting more and more quinoa. Peru started exporting quinoa in 2006 with less than 2,000 tonnes. But in 2013, the quantity reached 18,000 tonnes.

Maca is grown on high plateaus (3,800m to 4,400m above the sea level) of the Andes in Peru. It has been cultivated as a vegetable in Peru for the last 3,000 years. Called the "Peruvian ginseng", the maca plant's benefits have long been valued. It has recently found popularity as a supplement and a food ingredient. Its root is used to make medicines.

"More than 7,000ha of land has been reserved for planting 300 kinds of maca throughout the country this year," Rabines said.

Khong Thi Giang, from the Ha Noi-based Nguon Thien Nhien (Nature Source) Ltd Company, which was among the first companies to import maca powder products from Peru, said she first imported the product from the United States. Then she traced the origins of maca and found a partner from Peru to collaborate with.

"More and more Vietnamese consumers are pay attention to functional foods from abroad," she said. "We are trying to offer them the best organic products at the most competitive prices."

The maca powder product the company offers has organic standard guarantees of the United Sates Department of Agriculture, Japan and the European Union.

At the same workshop, some representatives from concerned agencies of the health ministry gave insights into the process of announcing and controlling imported products and the regulations for advertising food products. — VNS

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