Are the saponins on quinoa dangerous?

Question by Luckyprincess: Are the saponins on quinoa dangerous?
I’m 28 weeks pregnant and I just recently tried eating quinoa. I’ve been eating it for the last few weeks and I just discovered that it should be rinsed prior to cooking and eating it. Up until now, I haven’t been rinsing it and I’m worried that it may be unsafe, especially for my unborn baby. Does anyone have any info about this?

Best answer:

Answer by gothicrose_51
Go to your Doctor and talk to him or call a dietitian. Here is some other information for you.

Quinoa Saponins (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd). “Quinoa” is a Bolivian Cereal and the Saponins is a natural protector of the grain.

Saponins are glycosides with a distinctive foaming characteristic. They are found in many plants, but get their name from the soapwort plant (Saponaria), the root of which was used historically as a soap (Latin sapo —> soap).
They consist of a polycyclic aglycone that is either a choline steroid or triterpenoid attached via C3 and an ether bond to a sugar side chain. The aglycone is referred to as the sapogenin and steroid saponins are called saraponins. The ability of a saponin to foam is caused by the combination of the nonpolar sapogenin and the water soluble side chain.

Quinoa Plants – Saponins

Saponins are bitter and reduce the palatability of livestock feeds. However if they have a triterpenoid aglycone they may instead have a licorice taste as glucuronic acid replaces sugar in triterpenoids.

Some saponins reduce the feed intake and growth rate of nonruminant animals while others are not very harmful.
For example, the saponins found in oats and spinach increase and accelerate the body’s ability to absorb calcium and silicon, thus assisting in digestion. Certain pasture weeds contain substantial quantities of dangerous saponins and result in life threatening toxicities for certain animal species

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2 thoughts on “Are the saponins on quinoa dangerous?”

  1. You need not worry-the saponins cause a bitter taste, but not much else. If it wasnt bitter enough to deter you from eating it, it didnt contain enough saponin for you to worry about-most sold commercially is prerinsed anyway. I suggest Inca Harvest brand, which also has a yummy quinoa flour and quinoa flakes, which makes a lovely hot cereal for breakfast, served with agave nectar (or honey) Quinoa is a complete protein, and you are doing your baby and yourself a favor by using it. I am allergic to wheat, so I rely heavily on quinoa for my baked goods-it makes great muffins and quickbreads. Congrats on your pregnancy! What a delight to look forward to! My “baby” will hit 13 in just a few weeks-blink your eyes and their teenagers!

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