Food and Bioprocess Technology

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 338–346 | Cite as

Quality Changes in Nutritional Traits of Fresh-Cut and Then Microwaved Cowpea Seeds and Pods

  • Elena Collado
  • Tâmmila Venzke Klug
  • Francisco Artés-Hernández
  • Encarna Aguayo
  • Francisco Artés
  • Juan A. Fernández
  • Perla A. GómezEmail author


There is increasing interest in healthy and ready-to-eat natural horticultural products. In this sense, fresh-cut and then microwaved cowpea can be considered a good option to stimulate legume consumption, since they are a source of proteins and bioactive compounds. The objective of this work was to evaluate the quality of fresh-cut cowpea prepared to be eaten raw (immature seeds) or microwaved (seeds and pods). A Spanish landrace (accession BGE038474), which is well adapted to the cropping area, was selected. Fresh cowpea pods were washed with NaOCl (150 mg L−1, pH 6.5) and stored for 21 days at 8 °C under modified atmosphere packaging. Additionally, seeds obtained from hulled pods were equally disinfected, packaged, and stored for 7 days at 4 °C. The total phenolic content (TPC), total antioxidant capacity (TAC), sugars (raffinose, sucrose, glucose), and sensory attributes were evaluated in microwaved pods (700 W, 1 min), fresh seeds, and microwaved seeds. TPC and TAC increased after microwaving in both seeds and pods. Sucrose and glucose concentrations increased after microwaving, while raffinose was not detected after cooking. According to sensory quality, fresh (4 °C) and microwaved seeds maintained all the above attributes above the limit of usability until day 7, while pods were edible for up to 14 days if kept at 8 °C. These results indicate that cowpea seeds and pods (fresh-cut and then microwaved) are feasible and practical products to stimulate legume consumption from local landraces, especially in the absence of raffinose, which improves product digestibility.


Vigna unguiculata Legumes Minimally processed Raffinose Microwave cooking Nutrition 



The authors are grateful to the EUROLEGUME Project funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Dissemination, no. 613.781. The authors express also their gratitude to CNPq (Council for Scientific and Technological Development, Brazil) for a doctoral grant (232758/2014-0) to Tâmmila Venzke Klug.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Plant Biotechnology (IBV)Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena (UPCT)CartagenaSpain
  2. 2.Postharvest and Refrigeration Group, Department of Food EngineeringUPCTCartagenaSpain
  3. 3.Department of HorticultureUPCTCartagenaSpain

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