Folates in quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa), amaranth (Amaranthus sp.) and buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum): Influence of cooking and malting

Carla Motta, Inês Delgado, Ana Sofia Matos, Gerard Bryan Gonzales, Duarte Torres, Mariana Santos, Maria V. Chandra-Hioe, Jayashree Arcot, Isabel Castanheira

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Effects of processing on the contents of five folate vitamers in quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat were analysed using a trienzymatic extraction method followed by LC–MS/MS. Total folate (TF) content, corresponding to the sum of folic acid (FA), 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) and 10-formyltetrahydrofolate (10-CHOTHF) expressed as folic acid equivalent, in raw quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat were 309 ± 8.07, 228 ± 24.2 and 153 ± 12.4 μg/100 g dw, respectively, being dominantly 5-MTHF. Boiling and steaming reduced the TF in amaranth by 58% and 22%, respectively, whereas up to a 10–15% increase was observed in quinoa. Boiling and steaming did not significantly alter the TF content in buckwheat although significant changes were observed in some individual folate vitamers. Malting, on the other hand significantly increased TF content in amaranth by 21% (276 ± 14.2 μg/100 g dw) and buckwheat by 27% (193 ± 20.0 μg/100 g dw), whereas no significant change in quinoa was observed. Based on the EFSA recommendations, a portion of amaranth and quinoa (either boiled, steamed or malted) may contribute up to more than 25% of the dietary reference value for folates, whereas buckwheat may contribute only 14% when cooked and 19% when malted. Results demonstrate that quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat are good sources of folates, regardless of processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-187
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Food Composition and Analysis
Volume64 - parte 2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • 10-formyltetrahydrofolate
  • 5 formyltetrahydrofolate
  • 5-methyltetrahydrofolate
  • Dietary reference value
  • Folic acid
  • Pseudocereals
  • Retention factor
  • Tetrahydrofolate
  • Total folates


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