A Colombian enterprise, Factoria Quinoa has developed Quinoasure®, the first 100% instant organic quinoa powder to be used as a high nutritional supplement or as a food ingredient.
Quinoasure® offers high solubility, providing great protein digestibility. A versatile and hypoallergenic product, it is free of gluten, lactose, soy, sugar, cholesterol, additives, preservatives and GMOs.reati
Its taste, smell, texture, and color make it ready to use with any recipe, in particular, vegetable and fruit smoothies. It replaces thickening ingredients such as flour, margarine, milk or cream and it is ideal for liquid or soft, vegetarian or vegan diets.
Quinoasure® makes a perfect ingredient for baby food. It is rich in antioxidants and loaded with vitamins (E, Complex B), minerals, all essential amino acids (high in lysine), fiber and prebiotics. It already enjoys a global co-branding agreement with the US firm NurtureMe. With a low glycemic load, it is also suitable for diabetic people and for those suffering from allergies or with a compromised digestive system, such as gluten and lactose intolerance.
Factoria Quinoa was founded in 2009 as result of an alliance between industrial engineer Luis Felipe Avella and chemical engineer Ines Patiño. A researcher and specialist in social entrepreneurship, Mr. Avella Villegas shared the interest in quinoa with Ms. Patiño, who was leading a technical study on the ancient superfood from the Andean highlands. “Although not Fair Trade certified, Factoria Quinoa is based on a responsible business model that promotes fair trade practices while it contributes to the welfare of people and improved nutrition,” said Mr. Avella.
We operate under a model capable of generating value for equity to all players: the environment, farmers, companies, distributors, consumers, and cooperators”. Thanks to the integrated quinoa´s fair trade chain, Quinoasure® has the best traceability, quality and price for an instant quinoa powder, and the nutritional studies to support its benefits from babies to seniors."
“Quinoa was a staple crop and sacred food in pre-colonial times. It was grown in what is known today as Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina,” said Mr. Avella. But under Spanish rule, the crop was forbidden and forgotten, except for Bolivia and Peru, today the main producers and exporters of the “Mother Grain.”
“Since the origin of the company, we have been working in the integration of the value chain with five communities, reflected in each of the five leaves in the Factoria Quinoa logo,” Mr. Avella says.
The quinoa producing community involves 500 farming families in the same number of hectares located in the Colombian Andes, articulated in an agro-ecological package that seeks to maximize the margin of the farmer and strengthen the sector; a transforming community of 40 technicians, professionals and experts in multiple fields, to meet a production capacity of 1000 tons per year. They are committed to providing the highest added value to the efforts of the farmer, also to distributors, consumers, and cooperators.
A network of around 5,000 people for direct and online sales; shops, dealers, and brokers will be responsible for the national and international distribution of Quinoasure®, reaching over 500,000 consumers that chose Quinoasure® for its added value in flavor, assimilation, health, ethics, sustainability and fair price.
Over 50 public and private national and international cooperating organizations recognize and contribute in some way to increase Factoria Quinoa’s impact on nutrition and health, and to the social, environmental and economic model that generates its fair trade.
“Our product innovation and fair trade model has been recognized as such by the High Commissioner for Social Prosperity of the Presidency of the Republic of Colombia and was a global winner by Unreasonable Institute from 46 projects that will improve the world”, said Mr. Avella.
In 2011 Factoria Quinoa won the contest “Community Bio-business" for its efforts to rescue the quinoa crop in the department of Boyacá in Colombia. In the same year, the company was selected by New Ventures Mexico as one of the best 30 companies in Latin America to receive social investment. “National and international media, such as CNN International, have noticed Factoria Quinoa as a fair trade chain which maximizes social, environmental and economic returns with a product innovation”, added Mr. Avella.
Quinoasure® was one of the most innovative food products at the Sial Innovation Awards in Paris (2012) and Shanghai (2013) and last year at the Natural Products Expo East it was the winner of the Best New Supplement or Herb in the Showcase award and elected among many other supplements by visitors, buyers and experts from the natural channel as the best and most innovative new supplement of the show.
Although available in bulk and used as a “brand ingredient,” with minimum orders of an air pallet, Quinoasure® is mainly presented under its brand for retail in 10 gm sachets and 340 gr / 12-ounce Doypack Bags with a two-year shelf life.
According to FAO, until the year 2000, the volume of global trade in quinoa was modest, less than 2.000 tons per year, practically all of it coming from Bolivia and Peru. Bolivia’s quinoa exports reached 26.000 tons in 2012, Peru 10,000 tones. With global interest rapidly increasing, in 2013 declared by the United Nations “The International Year of Quinoa,” demand surpassed supply, creating a volatile market and skyrocketing prices. “Colombia has not been a big player in the quinoa sector, but climate and terrain conditions allow us to get two crops per year, one affected by the Atlantic and one by the Pacific Oceans, an advantage no other Andean country enjoys,” said Mr. Avella.
The high nutritional content of quinoa has triggered demand, and Factoria Quinoa expects to continue quinoa production and innovation in the production, processing, distribution, consumption and cooperation processes along its fair trade chain.
It took the Colombian engineers and their team five years of R&D to perfect Quinoasure®. Currently, the innovative instant supplement is sold at retail in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Canada, the USA and The United Arab Emirates.
Factoria Quinoa is also working with organic quinoa companies in Peru and Ecuador. “In 2014 we plan to expand organic quinoa production in the regions affected by the free trade agreement between Colombia, the United States, and the EU, ” said M. Avella. “There are around 100,000 hectares that need an urgent agriculture alternative in the Colombian Andean region”.
Besides Quinoasure® Factoria Quinoa´s model for fair trade can offer a great alternative to companies around the world interested in a new source of high quality and reasonable price quinoa grain, conventional and organic certified.
“This year we will increase sales in the countries where we already have distribution and expect to start exports to Germany, Spain, the UK, Switzerland, Japan, Australia, Chile, and Canada.”
Factoria Quinoa will exhibit at BioFach, Germany (Hall 2. Stand 2-534) and Engredea, the trade show for ingredient innovation co-located with Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California, March 6-9.