Quality control in foods such as quinoa involves the use of a set of physical, chemical, technological, sensory, microbiological and nutritional tools. This allows us to verify that the product is useful, safe and meets the minimum safety and quality criteria that guarantee its safety.
Quality control is carried out from and during cultivation, harvesting, transfer, storage, processing and marketing. This system can detect errors or deficiencies in order to optimize them in a timely manner. The purpose of monitoring these aspects is to ensure product quality and thus protect consumer health.
Main parameters of Quality Control in Quinoa
1. Analysis of pesticide residues (plant protection or pesticides) and Fosetil-Al analysis, phosphonic acid and salts.
The presence of pesticides or plant protection residues in food products may pose a risk to the health of consumers depending on their concentration. To ensure food safety and quality, compliance with national and international regulations is imperative to determine the concentration of pesticide residues in quinoa. This analysis is carried out through the following tests:
Gas chromatography (CG-MS/MS, CG-FID)
Liquid chromatography (LC-MS/MS)
2. Analysis of organoleptic characteristics.
It is a qualitative assessment of the appearance, color, aroma and flavor that must be characteristic of quinoa, this assessment is based exclusively on the senses (sight, smell, taste, etc.)
Red quinoa, white quinoa and black quinoa
3. Analysis of physico-chemical characteristics
The physico-chemical characteristics that make a difference to a variety of quinoa grains are the percentage of moisture and the amount of saponin:
Determination of humidity by stove method:
Moisture Determination by Saponin Content Determination by Foam Method: Stove:
4. Grain Size Analysis (granulometry)
The grain size classification is defined by the average diameter expressed in millimeters:
Classification of quinoa grains by size:
5. Analysis by degree
The grade of quinoa grains is determined by the percentage values of the characteristics listed below, regardless of the classification by grain size:
Tolerances allowed for white grain quinoa (raw material) in a sample of 100 grams:
6. Analysis of microbiological characteristics
The microbiological requirements that quinoa grains must meet regardless of the variety are the following:
n: Number of units of samples randomly selected from a batch, which is analysed to meet the requirements of a given sampling plan.
C: Maximum permitted number of rejected sample units in a sampling plan of 2 classes or maximum number of sample units which may contain a number of micro-organisms between «m» and «M» in a 3-class sampling plan. When a number of sample units greater than «c» is detected, the batch is rejected.
m: Microbiological limit separating acceptable and rejectable quality. In general, a value equal to or less than «m» represents an acceptable value and values greater than «m» indicate acceptable or unacceptable lots.
M: Microbial count values above «M» are unacceptable, the food represents a health risk.