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The presence and inactivation of trypsin inhibitors, tannins, lectins and amylase inhibitors in legume seeds during germination. A review


During the germination of legume seeds, enzymes become active in order to degrade starch, storage-protein and proteinaceous antinutritional factors. The degradation of storage-protein is necessary to make peptides and amino acids available in order to stimulate seed growth and early plant growth. Proteinaceous antinutritional factors such as amylase inhibitors, lectins and trypsin inhibitors are present in legume seeds and protect them against predators. However, during germination, they degrade to a lower level by the action of several enzymes. The effect of germination on the content and activity of amylase inhibitors, lectins, tannins and trypsin inhibitors is discussed.

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Savelkoul, F.H.M.G., Van Der Poel, A.F.B. & Tamminga, S. The presence and inactivation of trypsin inhibitors, tannins, lectins and amylase inhibitors in legume seeds during germination. A review. Plant Food Hum Nutr 42, 71–85 (1992).

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Key words

  • Germination
  • legumes
  • trypsin inhibitors
  • tannins
  • lectins
  • amylase inhibitors
  • enzymes