Karma Dorji, Kinley Wangmo & Dechen Tshering
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) is a nutrient-dense cereal crop that has been introduced in Bhutan in recent years. There is no data in Bhutan on post-harvest handling losses of quinoa, and literature from other countries are limited. This study was conducted in Saling Gewog under Mongar District to assess the losses of quinoa at different post-harvest handling stages like field drying after harvest, threshing, and drying after threshing and also to determine weight losses during storage and de-husking. Field drying loss of 1.4% and threshing loss of 2.3% with a total handling loss of 3.7% was recorded in Lingmethang. Field drying loss was 6.5% and threshing loss was 3.4% with a total handling loss of 9.9% in Yongkola while in Tzenzebi, the total handling losses increased to 14.7% including field drying loss of 7.1% and threshing loss of 7.6% with a significant difference in losses between these locations with a P-value < 0.000 for both the field drying after harvest and for threshing. Weight losses during drying were 3.4%, 4.7% and 5% for quinoa samples from Lingmethang, Tzenzebi and Yongkola respectively (P < 0.005). Losses during storage and de-husking of quinoa were determined only for the quinoa samples from Lingmethang. Weight loss at the end of three months of storage was very minimal at 0.2%. A large quantity of quinoa (19.2 %) was lost as husk during the de-husking process. Interventions from the relevant agencies are needed to improve the techniques on field drying, threshing and storage practices to reduce post-harvest losses of quinoa in Bhutan.
Keywords: Quinoa, Post-harvest losses, Weight loss
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