A growing world population means that more food is needed which in turn may require more land to grow food crops. More agriculture, however, results in increased irrigation, particularly for food crops such as maize and wheat – especially in dry regions. Combined with the use of fertilizer, this leads to salt accumulation in soils. To be able to use saline soils, naturally salt-tolerant plants, the so-called halophytes, are of great interest. The pseudo-cereal quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) is one of them. Quinoa originated in the Andean region and is adapted to harsh environmental conditions. In the South American mountain range, the cereal-like plant has been used as a food crop for 7000 years. Gluten-free and high in vitamins, the edible seeds have now found their way into European supermarkets.
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