DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Quinoa seed (Chenopodium quinoa), coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). The plant Chenopodium is native to the Andean region of South America. It is well adapted to high altitude areas with warm days and cool nights. It is grown for its seeds which are high in protein (16 to 23 percent) and omega-3 fatty acids (which are beneficial for human cardiac health). Quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it a complete protein source among plant foods. It is a good source of dietary fibre and contains Vitamin B1, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. Quinoa is not a grass or cereal grain, but rather the fruit of a herb plant. It does not contain gluten. It has been grown for over 6,000 years and was an important food crop of native Inca people. It is grown today as a healthy alternative to wheat and maize and has potential uses for starch production and other industrial uses. Magnification: x12 when shortest axis printed.
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