Introducing, testing and breeding low saponin quinoa genotypes in Australia

Murdoch University

  • Project code: PRJ-012530

  • Project stage: Current

  • Project start date: Wednesday, April 14, 2021

  • Project completion date: Friday, March 7, 2025

  • National Priority: NEI - New and Emerging Industries - M2


Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) is a novel, nutritious and gluten-free food crop originating in South America. Quinoa seed is coated with a layer of antinutritional saponins that produce a bitter flavour when consumed. Hence, saponins must be removed from quinoa seeds post-harvest by mechanical means or by washing and drying. Such postharvest processing is costly and results in production losses and reduced seed nutritional value.


Low-saponin (“sweet”) genotypes have been identified overseas and some breeding efforts have commenced for low-saponin content. This project will introduce a set of low-saponin genotypes to Australia and test these across a range of environments to identify cultivars that may be grown commercially in Australia or be used as parents in quinoa breeding. In addition, new breeding technologies will be applied potentially to create low-saponin lines de-novo.


The best genotypes/varieties will be selected for plant variety registration and will be made available to Australian quinoa growers.


New and Emerging Industries

Research Organisation

Murdoch University

Objective Summary

Introduce new low-saponin quinoa varieties into Australia from international breeders/companies and gene banks. Evaluations will be conducted to evaluate introduced lines against currently available quinoa lines, establish breeding methods and assess seed quality.