Chemical composition of the seed and ‘milk’ of three common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L) varieties

  • Calvince AninoEmail author
  • Arnold N. Onyango
  • Samuel Imathiu
  • Julius Maina
  • Faith Onyangore
Original Paper


Beans are a good source of nutrients and a variety of phytochemicals such as flavonoids, tannins and phytates. On the one hand, these non-nutrient phytochemicals reduce nutrient bio availability, but on the other hand they have some health benefits including reducing the risks for aging-related diseases. This study investigated the content of nutrients and non-nutrient phytochemicals in three varieties of common beans, namely red haricot, pinto and yellow kidney beans, and their corresponding milk extracts. Carbohydrates were the most abundant nutrient in the beans (63–66%), followed by proteins (21–24%), crude fiber (5–7%), crude ash (4–5%), and crude fat (2–3%). The beans were also rich in non-nutrient phytochemicals. The protein, carbohydrate and fat contents of the milk (18–26%, 63–67%, and 3–4%, respectively) did not differ much from the beans. Unlike the beans, the milk lacked crude fiber, and had greatly reduced ash (2%) and phytochemicals. Consistent with the reduction in ash, there was a reduction in minerals; calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium in the milk. The reduction in minerals was less than the reduction of phytates, indicating that the milk may have higher bioavailability of minerals than the beans. The milk also had higher protein digestibility. Thus, consumption of bean milk may be encouraged as an alternative way of bean consumption, especially by individuals whose greater needs are for nutrients rather than phytochemicals. The bean varieties had significant differences in the retention of nutrients and phytochemicals, and such differences should be considered during bean milk production.


Common beans Bean milk Anti-nutrients 



The authors are grateful to the University of Kabianga for funding the present research and the Department of Food Science and Technology, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology for the good will to use the laboratory facilities. We are very appreciative of Mr. David Rasugu from JKUAT for his technical assistance during the study.

Author contributions

CA, AO and SI participated in study design. CA did the experiments and drafted the manuscript. All authors participated in interpretation of results and improving the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

Informed consent

All authors have agreed to submit the manuscript in its current form for publication in the Journal of Food Measurement and Characterization.

Research involving human participants

No tests, measurements or experiments were performed on humans as part of this work.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food Science and TechnologyJomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and TechnologyNairobiKenya
  2. 2.Department of Environmental HealthUniversity of KabiangaKerichoKenya

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