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Tanzania amaranth (Amaranthus) or mchicha in Swahili is among the most beloved traditional vegetables in this East African nation. This is due to its abundance and high nutrition. In appearance, the plant has almond-shaped leaves that are of dusty green color. About sixty species exist, each with its attributes. The unifying factor about them is that most bear grains or seeds that make flour after threshing and milling. The green leaves serve as nutritious vegetables. The origin of the crop was in Mexico. The Aztecs via the Maya civilization may have domesticated it in the early 15th century before the onset of the Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors.
Amaranth is a nutritious weed with protein, minerals, and vitamins that have made it one of the highly regarded traditional vegetables. The protein content comes from the seeds. Protein bioactive nutrients (ingredients that treat diseases) are about 13.56 grams per 100 grams of seeds. Glycine is the most significant margin at about 1.6 grams.
The leaves of Tanzania amaranth are rich sources of vitamins as well as minerals. Vitamin C represents 5 percent of the daily needs. Vitamin B6 for metabolism processes comes at 45 percent of the daily value. The level of folate is 21 percent while that of riboflavin stands at 17 percent. The mineral round up includes calcium which supports strong teeth at 16 percent per serving. It is, however, manganese, a bone formation nutrient that is most abundant in amaranth, at 159 percent levels. This is followed by phosphorous, another bone-strengthening nutrient at 80 percent per serving.
We source Tanzania amaranth from family growers in Babati, north-central Tanzania just south of Arusha. Our farmers own an average of 0.5 hectares in various parts of the country. Here, the farmers maintain their farms through traditional means such as the application of farmyard compost. For a weed that naturally takes over farms, the use of chemical sprays is also unnecessary. This makes our amaranth quite safe to eat.
We harvest Tanzania amaranth when they are young and tender for making salads. If you wish, we also wait for the leaves to get older to cook like kales or spinach. We pick the leaves by gloved hands in the early morning. The older leaves also harbor magenta-colored seeds on the stalks which we thresh before delivery at the packinghouse. We only go for green-colored leaves and leave out any discolored ones.
We pack Tanzania amaranth in special purpose zip lock bags that we line up with polyethylene inside. We put about a dozen to two dozen bunches of the loose leaves per package. Because heat leads to fast deterioration of the leaves, we pre-cool the packages at 4 to 5 degrees Celsius, which extends the shelf life of the green produce.
Our other form of Tanzania amaranth package is that of processed seeds. The processing is 100 percent quite natural. It involves ‘popping’ the seeds in hot ovens which induces the popping up of the seeds in about 10 seconds later. We then grind the hot seeds through a milling machine. The fine powder then passes through a sieve with holes’ diameter of 0.4mm that let it through while the debris remains behind. We pack the ground powder in sachet bags that have polyethylene linings. We seal the packages with vacuum to remove air and thus keep the by-product long in a fresh condition.
We store Tanzania amaranth at the base temperature of 4 degrees Celsius. We understand that exposure to heat from especially the sun leads to massive dehydration and loss of weight in the leaves. This is why we temporarily stock the bunches in film-lined cartons to keep them well hydrated.
We transport Tanzania amaranth at the same temperature range to the Julius Nyerere International Airport on the same day of packing. Our refrigerated vans have a produce-savvy crew that keeps a check on the vegetables throughout the transportation phase. We give a day or two between the dispatch from Dar-es-Salaam and the arrival of the cargo at your destination.
As anything easy to grow requires nothing more than organic means to cultivate it, you can be assured of the freshest supply of Tanzania amaranth from us. We only go for farmers who grow the weed like any other vegetable in designate farms with Global Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certifications. This ensures that upon arrival at your grocery, you will obtain produce with less than 0.01 percent of the residual levels. We tow the line by farming the crop early enough to meet your tonnage on the due date. We also keep the prices quite low to match your budgetary allocation. This is why you need to make an order today!
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