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Information @ a Glance

General

  • Amaranthus is the genus for the pigweed family. The word is derived from the Greek word amarantus, which means “everlasting.”
  • Amaranthus, collectively known as amaranth or pigweed, is a cosmopolitan genus of herbs.
  • Amaranth grain is a crop of moderate importance in the Himalaya. It was one of the staple foodstuffs of the Incas, and it is known as kiwicha in the Andes
  • Amaranth, an ancient crop originating in the Americas, can be used as a high-protein grain or as a leafy vegetable, and has potential as a forage crop.
  • Amaranth seeds are tan or light brown in color and are about the size of poppy seeds.

Growth & Cultivation

  • Amaranthus is a widely adapted genus, and can be grown throughout the Midwestern and Western U.S. Grain amaranth is reportedly drought-tolerant, similar to sorghum, provided there is sufficient moisture to establish the crop.
  • Most cultivars of amaranth and quinoa grow four- to eight-feet high and, when in flower, are majestic plants whose presence emits a special radiance in any garden.
  • Pigweeds are susceptible to most soil applied and postemergent herbicides recommended for general control of broadleaf weeds.
  • Amaranth is grown in both the wet and dry seasons in Sierra Leone. Amaranth seed can be either broadcast or transplanted. Both methods are used in Sierra Leone, but broadcast seems to be the most common.

Application

  • The Amaranth is a tall plant used  to make a beer, the leaves were boiled or fried, the seeds were popped like popcorn, and the flour was used in various ways, include brutal religious ceremonies.
  • Amaranth's potential applications are truly unlimited for creative food formulators, who should always keep amaranth in mind whenever a delicious nutty flavor and high-powered nutrition is desired.
  • Amaranth seeds can be used for breads, pastries, or can be popped like corn.
  • Amaranth grain contains tocotrienols and squalene compounds, which are known to affect cholesterol biosynthesis. So amaranth grain is a good source of modern diet, particularly to make special products for the people who are at a high risk to cardiovascular diseases

Market

  • The commercial marketplace for amaranth in the U.S. has been primarily based on the health food market. Consumers purchasing amaranth are usually doing so because they (a) want a wheat and gluten free product, (b) like the nutritional profile of amaranth, and/or (c) like more "exotic" foods in their diet.
  • Although the production of amaranth in Latin America diminished dramatically subsequent to Spanish rule, the positive attributes of the crop led to its adoption in other areas of the world. By the 1700s, amaranth had spread throughout Europe for use as a herb and ornamental.
  • Although the U.S. has been the leading producer of grain amaranth used in retail food products, the largest production area in the last decade is believed to have been in China

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