Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Nutrient Composition of Amaranth, Kamut, Quinoa, Spelt and Teff

Authors
item Gebhardt, Susan
item Thomas, Robin

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 17, 2007
Publication Date: October 7, 2007
Citation: Gebhardt, S.E., Thomas, R.G. 2007. Nutrient Composition of Amaranth, Kamut, Quinoa, Spelt and Teff. AACC International Annual Meeting, October 7-10, 2007, San Antonio, Texas.

Technical Abstract: The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating at least three servings of whole grain products per day. In the Food and Drug Administration's guidance for Whole Grain Label Statements, amaranth, quinoa and teff are listed as examples of cereal grains. In order to provide up-to-date nutrient data for these less common whole grains in the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR), amaranth, quinoa and teff along with spelt and Kamut® were analyzed. Three different brands of each type of grain were purchased from retail outlets. Samples were prepared at the Food Analysis Laboratory Control Center at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and shipped by overnight delivery to analytical laboratories with appropriate control and reference materials. Samples were analyzed for proximate components, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and amino acids. These laboratories had previously been qualified to perform analyses of these nutrients through the National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program. All of the grains were high in protein, ranging in content from 13.3% for teff to 14.7% for Kamut®. Amaranth and quinoa contained over 6% fat compared to about 2% fat in the other three grains. Total dietary fiber content ranged from about 7% in amaranth and quinoa to over 10% in spelt. The vitamin and mineral content of these five grains is usually at least as high, and in many cases higher, than in regular wheat. As people are trying to incorporate more whole grains into their diet, having data for these grains in SR provides an easily accessible source of nutrient information. Research shows that healthful diets rich in whole grain foods are helpful in reducing the risks of heart disease, certain types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes, and may also help in weight management.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014