Andean Foods’ gluten-free quinoa pasta is made with 55% quinoa, sourced from Bolivia’s biggest association of quinoa producers, and 45% rice flour.
Chief foreign trade officer at Andean Foods Hendsel Ortuste Landivar told us the firm experienced some formulation difficulties at the start of the product development stage, before realising the key was to make a type of ‘quinoa jelly’ by adding water and xanthan gum before transforming into the final product.
“It’s been really hard to work with [quinoa] and it took us a long time to learn about this jelly process. At first we tried to make 100% quinoa pasta but it wasn’t possible and the taste wasn’t good. So with rice it’s easier to work with and with the correct percentage of rice and quinoa you get a high quality pasta that tastes and looks like normal pasta,” he said, adding that the pasta has a slightly sweet flavour profile compared to wheat pasta.
“Quinoa has become really popular all over the world because it’s a high protein grain with the eight essential amino acids every human needs. People who don’t eat meat can get all of these through quinoa. We think there’s a really big market for this kind of product.”
Available in organic and conventional, the product is made in La Paz using minimal processing techniques. Its European markets currently include the UK, France and Germany.
Other gluten-free pastas that caught the eye of SIAL judges for the innovation awards were French company Markal’s gluten-free pulse pasta made from red lentils or corn and chickpea, and Italian firm Probio’s yellow lentil spaghetti.