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Comparative study of the chemical composition of wild and cultivated beans (Phaseolus vulgaris)

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Five wildPhaseolus vulgaris beans were compared with five cultivatedPhaseolus vulgaris beans in proximate composition, total (true) protein, amino acid composition, and toxic and antinutritional factors. The wild beans contained more protein (25.5% vs. 21.7%), ash (5.15 vs. 4.15%), crude fiber (7.08% vs. 5.04%) compared to cultivated beans while the former contained less fat (0.56 vs. 0.89%) and carbohydrates (61.64 vs. 68.05%). Sulfur amino acids were found to be limiting in both groups of bean as expected; however, the cultivated beans had a higher content of the limiting amino acids. Therefore, the cultivated beans showed a better amino acid profile than the wild beans. Toxic factors were not found in either type of bean; the determinations included saponins, alkaloids, and cyanogenic glycosides. The antinutritional factors investigated were hemagglutinins (lectins) and trypsin inhibitors. The wild beans presented a higher content of trypsin inhibitors (28 TUI per mg) and lectins (9.6) than the cultivated beans did (21 TUI per mg and 7 respectively). From the chemical point of view, domestication seems to be positive; however, the better protein nutritive quality of the cultivated beans should be further confirmed by biological assays.

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Correspondence to A. Sotelo.

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Sotelo, A., Sousa, H. & Sánchez, M. Comparative study of the chemical composition of wild and cultivated beans (Phaseolus vulgaris). Plant Food Hum Nutr 47, 93–100 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01089257

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Key words

  • Amino acid profile
  • Antinutritional factors
  • Beans
  • Nutrient composition
  • Toxic factors
  • Wild beans