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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013;53(2):109-25. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2010.517876.

Amaranth: a new millennium crop of nutraceutical values.

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1
National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, India.

Abstract

The major staple food crops production is not able to fulfill food requirement of the global population due to relatively higher population growth rate in developing countries. The research on these crops for exploring their ultimate yield potential is currently at a plateau level. To replace the existing pressure on these major crops there is an urgent need to explore other alternative crops having the potential to replace and fulfill the available food demand. FAO statistics reveal that there is a high frequency of low birth weight children in the developing countries, which is primarily due to deficiency of micronutrients in the mother's diet. Amaranth, an underutilized crop and a cheap source of proteins, minerals, vitamin A and C, seems to be a future crop which can substantiate this demand due to its tremendous yield potential and nutritional qualities, also recently gained worldwide attention. Recently, current interest in amaranth also resides in the fact that it has a great amount of genetic diversity, phenotypic plasticity, and is extremely adaptable to adverse growing conditions, resists heat and drought, has no major disease problem, and is among the easiest of plants to grow in agriculturally marginal lands. The present review is an effort to gather the available knowledge on various diversified fields of sciences for the future exploitation of the crop.

PMID:
23072528
DOI:
10.1080/10408398.2010.517876
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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