The adoption of food crops as a source of dietary macro- and micro-nutrients is a sustainable way to promote diet biodiversity and health while being respectful to the environment. The aim of this work was to comprehensively characterize the nutrient and phytochemical content of buckwheat seeds (Fagopyrum esculentum) and assess their physical properties for the evaluation of their suitability as food ingredients. The buckwheat samples were found to be complete sources of amino acids (UPLC-TUV analysis), with a protein content between 11.71 ± 0.40% and 14.13 ± 0.50% (Vario Max CN analysis), and a source of insoluble fiber with 11.05 ± 0.25 %, in the UK hulled samples (GC analysis). The buckwheat samples were rich in phosphorus, manganese, molybdenum, zinc, magnesium, and selenium (ICP-MS analysis). A total of 196 plant metabolites were detected using HPLC and LCMS analysis, with anthocyanidins (pelargonidin and cyanidin) being the most abundant phenolic molecules that were measured in all the buckwheat samples. Removing the hull was beneficial for increasing the powder bulk density, whereas the hulled buckwheat samples were more easily rehydrated. The implementation of buckwheat as a staple food crop has enormous potential for the food industry, human nutrition, and diet diversification and could contribute towards meeting the daily recommendation for dietary fiber, essential amino acids, and minerals in Western-style diet countries such as the UK.
Bibliographical noteAcknowledgments: The authors would like to thank to Donna Henderson, Lynn Pirie, and Jodie Park, from the Rowett Institute Analytical Department for doing the proximate, amino acid, and ICPMS analysis; and to the funders: Scottish Government′s Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division (RESAS) and Ministério da Educação Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior Brazil (CAPES).
Funding: This research was funded by the Scottish Government′s Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division (RESAS) as part of the Strategic Research Programme 2016–2021 Crops 2022, 2, 3 303 and Ministério da Educação Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior–CAPES, Brazil.
- Fagopyrum esculentum
- plant protein
- amino acids
- plant secondary metabolites
- dietary biodiversity