Purcell Mountain Farms sell "Quinoa flakes", which they claim

retain all of the nutritional properties of the supergrain

Similarly, an answerer at Askville claims:

Quinoa Flakes have been steamed, rolled and then flaked. Quinoa flakes have the same nutritional profile as whole Quinoa does,

Is it true that quinoa flakes have the same nutritional properties as whole quinoa?

  • What would you accept as evidence? Their FDA nutritional information? Chemical analysis of the foods in question? Aug 26, 2014 at 12:01
  • 1
    What's your definition of "nutritional profile"? It would be an amazing coincidence if the GI didn't change, for example - are you interested in that change?
    – rumtscho
    Dec 26, 2014 at 17:35

1 Answer 1


Purcell Mountain Farms has the nutritional values listed for their product on their webpage:

Serving Size: cooked 1/2 cup (42 g)

Calories 159 Calories from Fat 0 Total Fat 2.5 g 3.8% Saturated Fat 0.3 g 1.3%

Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g Cholesterol 0 mg 0%

Sodium 9 mg 0.4% Total Carbohydrate 29.5 g 9.8% Dietary Fiber 3 g 12.3%

Sugars 1 g Protein 5.7 g 11.4% Vitamin A 0% Vitamin E 6.8% Vitamin C 0%

Calcium 2.6% Iron 21.9% Magnesium 22.4% Phosphorus 17.5%

Potassium 9% Zinc 9%

Similar figures for one cup of cooked Quinoa adjusted to 1/2 cup:

Serving Size: cooked 1/2 cup (93 g)

Calories 111 Calories from Fat 16 Total Fat 2 g 2.5% Saturated Fat 0%

Sodium 6.5 mg 0.5% Total Carbohydrate 19.5 g 6.5% Dietary Fiber 2.5 g 10.5%

Protein 4 g Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0%

Calcium 1.5% Iron 7.5%

So, BOE calculations, it looks like the quinoa flakes have something additional added to supplement it, raising the number of calories in a serving as well ass adding more sodium, but also including more vitamins. Of course, it may also depend on what figures each is using for rounding things. The FDA has rules but neither listing seems to be using them. Regarding supplementation, it's been pointed out in the comments that the quinoa flakes only state that quinoa flakes are present, but FDA guidelines allow omission of enriching vitamins and minerals in they're the components of another item such as flour:

Generally, FDA only requires that the label declare the vitamins A and C, and the minerals calcium and iron. The other enrichment vitamins and minerals must be declared when they are added directly to the packaged food (e.g., enriched bread), but not when the enriched product is added as an ingredient to another food. NOTE: It is necessary to declare the other vitamins and minerals in the ingredient list. However, if unenriched flour is used, and the enrichment nutrients are added separately, those nutrients (i.e., thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid) would have to be declared on the Nutrition Facts label. 21 CFR 101.9(c)(8)(ii)(A)-(B) and 21 CFR 101.9(c)(8)(iv)

I feel like, if enriched quinoa flakes were your only ingredient, you'd have to admit to it, but I am not a lawyer, of course, so they might be dodging it that way.

  • 1
    I doubt it's something added, because it says "INGREDIENTS: Organic Quinoa Flakes." It could be something taken away: e.g. calories per 1/2 cup would be higher, if the flakes removed some relatively-low-calorie husk material from the whole grain.
    – ChrisW
    Aug 26, 2014 at 12:16
  • Except that the flakes seem to have more calories in them within a half cup when cooked. It's possible it's just a more nutritionally dense grain being used to make the flakes. Could also be rounding errors or that using the flakes creates a more dense half-cup of quinoa. scientificpsychic.com/fitness/labels.html Aug 26, 2014 at 12:23
  • 1
    If you remove the outer, low-calorie husk of a grain then the remainder would be more nutritionally dense. "The grain is a good source of dietary fiber", so if they remove the fiber then the remainder would have more calories per gram.
    – ChrisW
    Aug 26, 2014 at 12:29
  • The "nutritional profile" claim might be about the relative ratios, not about absolute quantities per gram: for example, the quantity of protein per calorie.
    – ChrisW
    Aug 26, 2014 at 12:31
  • The carb:protein ratio, among other things, is similar in the two examples. There just seems to be more overall stuff in the Purcell example, including fiber and fat (the "0 calories from fat" is a typo). Oct 6, 2014 at 14:34

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