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Andean Chuño: Properties and Uses

Learn all about this fascinating food with an extended history!

Andean Chuño: Properties and Applications

Last actualisation: January 27, 2023

Chuño is an ancient dish from the Andes. It is grown especially in Peru and Bolivia and is a crop passed down from generation to generation, recognized by farming families as cultural heritage. Learn more about Andean chuño from this text.

It is a form of bitter potato that may last as long as 20 years. In some parts of the Andes, it replaces bread and is an addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Want to know more about Andean chuño? Here we are going to learn more about its properties and every thing that science knows about it.

What is Andean chuño?

Chuño is a bitter potato that’s dehydrated under natural freezing conditions. Therefore, additionally it is generally known as dehydrated potato.

He also has one other nickname: millennial potato, because its origins date back to pre-Columbian times. Once a standard food of the central indigenous communities of Bolivia and Peru, today it has spread to the territories of Ecuador, Chile and Argentina.

The word “chuño” is attributed to the Quechua language whose original word was ch’uń and its closest translation can be “wrinkles”. The way it’s made and preserved is one among the oldest on the earth one among the predominant elements of the native weight loss plan.

It is now a central a part of the gastronomy of the next regions:

  • Northern Chile.
  • south of Ecuador.
  • North of Argentina.
  • South Andean region of Peru.
  • Highlands of Bolivia. Chuño consumption is higher within the Bolivian areas of La Paz, Cochabamba, Oruro, Chuquisaca, Potosí, Tarija and Santa Cruz.

Nutritional value

Chuño has the next values ​​per 100 grams (4 ounces) of product:

  • Calories: 336.54.
  • Humidity: 14.11%.
  • Protein: 3.49 grams.
  • Carbohydrates: 80.15 grams.
  • Crude fiber: 1.70 grams.
  • Dust: 2.03 grams.
  • Calcium: 16.23 milligrams.
  • Phosphorus: 101.40 milligrams.
  • Iron: 5 0.68 milligrams.
  • Niacin: 1.62 milligrams.

In addition, chuño incorporates vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid, vitamin A, calcium and antioxidants. This gives it some dietary properties, which we are going to list below.

This potato is typical of the Andes and is taken into account an ancient food.

Properties of chuño

Now we are going to analyze the health advantages of chuño in additional detail. Here are some properties.

It is wealthy in starch

Its high content of resistant starch makes it good for gut healthin accordance with medical literature. This form of starch helps improve microflora health, reduces body fat accumulation, improves insulin sensitivity, and regulates blood sugar levels.

This is because starch, when not digested within the small intestine, reaches the colon where it’s fermented by microflora, producing gases, short-chain fatty acids, organic acids and alcohols. Thus, it acts as a prebiotic. In addition, it provides a sense of satiety.

In review of the literatureit was found that the chuño production process increases the share of amylose in the overall starch content. The explanation is that it’s exposed to very drastic changes in temperature, which allows for the activation of enzymes comparable to amylases, that are related to a rise in starch resistance.

Another great article for you: 5 cornstarch alternative uses you may love

source of minerals and antioxidants

There is a lack of antioxidants and phenolic compounds in the course of the processing of chuño, but not all of it. Some minerals are concentrated, and that is the case with phosphorus, calcium, iron and zinc.

Calcium is a very important mineral within the bodysince it forms bones and teeth. It is obtained at 16.23 milligrams per 100 grams (4 ounces) of chuño.

In addition, the production increases the content of phenols comparable to chlorogenic acid, protocatechuic acid, gallic acid and epicatechin. Of all these compounds, the one present in the best proportion is epicatechin, with 460 milligrams per 100 grams (4 ounces) of dry weight.

Epicatechin is a polyphenol known for its antioxidant properties. This was shown in studies have the next capability than other similar compounds.

Antioxidants are substances that prevent and neutralize the damage brought on by free radicals, thus slowing down the aging process.

May help regulate blood glucose levels

Resistant starch will help regulate blood glucose levels. It’s because has slower digestion and is related to a lower increase in glucose after eating.

In this regard, studies on healthy people reported that resistant starch lowers blood insulin levels after meals. This is attributable to the lower availability of carbohydrates for absorption.

Chuño will be included within the weight loss plan to manage glucose levels.

Find out more here: What are the warning signs of hyperglycemia?

How is chuño made?

Chuño has a novel and millennial development process. First, the potatoes are extracted and graded.

Impurities and rotten potatoes are eliminated. They are then chosen and classified by shape and size.

After that they’re frozen. This is finished by exposing them to winter temperatures of -4 to -15 degrees Celsius for 3 or 4 nights.

They are then taken out and immersed within the river for 21 to 30 days in mesh cages. The next step is to freeze them again at the identical temperature for 1 to 2 nights.

After that, the husking phase is coming. This means removing the skin and maintaining a hygienic process.

Uses of chuño

Andean chuño was utilized in indigenous communities when food resources were scarce. It is now a business product in several parts of the world.

It is frequently used as flour. In fact, it’s used to make cookies, as a thickener, in soups and even in compotes. We recommend consuming it for its nutrients and starch content, which can be useful for digestive health.

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