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Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 1989 Sep;39(3):223-34.

Limiting amino acids in raw and processed amaranth grain protein from biological tests.

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  • 1Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama, Guatemala.


Amino acid supplementation studies with young rats were carried out using raw and processed amaranth grain (A. cruentus) of dark- and cream- or light-colored seeds. The results of various studies repeatedly indicated that threonine is the most limiting amino acid in raw and processed, dark and cream-colored grain. Protein quality as measured either as NPR or PER was improved by threonine addition alone or with other amino acids and decreased liver fat to values similar to those measured with casein. This finding contradicts the reports that state that leucine, determined by chemical score, is the most limiting amino acid. Leucine addition alone or with other amino acids did not improve protein quality. The study confirmed cream-colored grain to be nutritionally superior to dark grain and that properly processed grain, light- or dark-colored, has higher protein quality than raw grain.

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