Ritva Repo-Carrasco-Valencia (Ph.D. Food Chemistry, University of Turku; MSc. Cereal Chemistry and Technology, University of Helsinki) has been passionate about Andean native grains ever since she first learnt about them in the 1980s while living in Cusco, Peru, the capital of the old Inca Empire. Through her research, she has raised awareness of the numerous nutritional benefits of quinoa, amaranth, kañiwa and tarwi (Andean lupin). Although consumed by indigenous peoples for centuries, these grains had been shunned by the wider Peruvian population in favour of a Western diet for most of the past century. Today, their high nutritional value is better understood and quinoa is now ubiquitous in health stores worldwide.
Dr. Repo-Carrasco-Valencia is currently a professor and research scientist at the National Agrarian University La Molina (UNALM), in Lima, Peru. She is director of the Center of Innovation for Andean Grains at UNALM and leads various international research projects. Among these is the European Union-funded Protein2Food (P2F) project, which aims at developing innovative, cost-effective and resource-efficient plant proteins. In 2017, Dr Repo was awarded the Order of the Lion of Finland in recognition of her work.
About her talk: ”Re-Discovering Andean ‘Superfoods’: Quinoa, Kañiwa, Kiwicha And Tarwi”
During her talk, she will explain the nutritional benefits and uses of Andean grains in the cereal industry and in the culinary world.