The private brewery Cervecera Boliviana has launched a new product, Trimalta Quinua, the first mass-market drink combining the properties of malt and quinoa grains to create a natural energizer rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
The drink was unveiled to the media at a press conference and is now being sold at stores in the Bolivian capital of La Paz, company director Sergio Lopez told Efe.
The company, which has been making beer and and malt drinks for the past seven years, has been at work for several months combining its energy malt beverage with quinoa, a "very versatile food that has a ton of properties that people want," Lopez said.
"Malt is considered a natural energizer and quinoa adds a significant amount of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, but above all omega-3...so we put them together in a single drink. The challenge was to get the ingredients to complement each other and not cancel each other out in the process," he said.
Quinoa, also called the "golden grain" of the Andes, is a food similar to cereals, high in protein and nutritional value, that can be grown at different altitudes and in a variety of climates.
Bolivia's quinoa crop represents 46 percent of world production of this grain, with Peru the second largest grower in the world with 42 percent, while the United States is third.
The United Nations declared 2013 as International Year of Quinoa at the request of Bolivian President Evo Morales and in acknowledgment of its high nutritional value.
Trimalta Quinua bottles of 500 cubic centimeters (18 ounces) are now available in La Paz, and in the coming weeks sales are expected to be extended to the central region of Cochabamba and to Santa Cruz in the east, which together with La Paz are the most densely populated regions in the country.
Lopez said that for now the company will focus on selling the product on the domestic market, though they have already received requests for exports to Chile, Argentina and Ecuador.