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What are ancient grains?

Society´s growing concern, in terms of eating habits, is causing a shift towards increasingly healthy trends. For this reason, consumers are becoming increasingly interested in introducing complete foods to their diet that are synonymous with health. In this area we can find ancient grains, which have undergone a significant increase in demand.

harina-de-amaranto-grupo-dacsaAncient grains are a group of seeds and pseudocereals that have barely been genetically modified during the last millenium and, since there has been less production, they have been much less affected by selective breeding.

Many of these grains were considered sacred by cultures such as the Incas and the Aztecs. There is no definitive list that includes all these grains, but there is a general agreement about those which may be considered ancient.

Quinoa: It is considered a pseudocereal since it does not belong to the family of grasses, but its  high starch content makes it perfect to be used as if it were a cereal. It is also considered a superfood because of its high protein content.

Teff: This was one of the first plants grown by humans. These grains have a large amount of dietary fibre and contain the eight essential amino acids

Amaranth: From the amaranth, not only is its seed edible, but also its leaves. It is a food with a high protein value, even higher than cow’s milk, in addition to having a high content of calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, zinc, vitamin E and vitamin B.

Buckwheat: It is recommended for weight loss diets, since it has ‘fagomina’ which delays the sensation of hunger.

In addition, all these pseudocereals are gluten free.  At Dacsa Group we work with flour made from these ancient grains to extract all their benefits, their richness in proteins, fatty acids and omega-3. We adapt the particle size of these flours to our customer´s needs and we use them in the preparation of pastry mixes or batters. In addition, we can apply a light heat treatment to activate the anti-nutritional factors present in these types of grains such as saponins and / or phytic acid that could decrease mineral absorption.