Lima, May 25. Peruvian quinoa exports totaled US$ 31.7 million during the first quarter of 2013, an increase of 237% compared to the same period last year, the Association of Exporters (ADEX) reported on Saturday.
According to ADEX, the United States was the largest importer during the reported period, accounting for 56 percent of Peru’s quinoa exports, followed by the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France among other countries.
“Our golden grain has now entered to Ukraine and Bulgaria as the health barriers that blocked its entry has been removed”, the Peruvian association said.
According to figures from the entity, quinoa exports have surged from US$5 million in 2008to US$80.5 million in 2013.
Quinoa is the only plant food that contains all 10 essential amino acids for the human diet.
Its protein content (between 14%-18%) surpasses that of wheat, rice, maize and oats, and can be a substitute to animal protein. Its calorific value is greater than that of eggs and milk and comparable only to that of meat.
It is a source of vitamin E, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and contains more minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus than other grains.
In Peru, Puno is the leading producer of this grain, accounting for approximately 82% of total production. The country’s other leading producers are Ayacucho, Cusco, Apurimac, Junin and Arequipa.