Calixto: head of Quality at the plant
Calixto is the head of quality in the coop’s processing plant. Here he is standing in front of a bagged shipment of ours, of quinoa that has been fully processed and cleaned. As you can see they take their food standards very serioulsy with everyone working in the plant applying European levels of food hygiene practice. Quinoa comes in as and when cooperants want to sell some of their stock. Given banking looks like this is Puno, with multi hour queues, I can understand that popping down to the plant with a bag of quinoa is an easier way of getting cash out! Once the quinoa grain is received the process is then the following: initial sorting to get rid of stones etc. The quinoa is then scarified so outer saponin layer can be washed off. The quinoa is then put in washer before being dried outside in sun. Then it is put through rotating cylinders that select for grain size, before being passed via optical selector to get rid of any remaining foreign material. Finally it is put in a wind machine that gets rid of any remaining dust. The quinoa is then packed into 25kg bags to head down the mountains to be loaded onto a container at Callao, next to Lima for shipping. The quinoa in your box is a lot more complicated than meets the eye!