Skip to main content

Effect of processing on the nutritive value of Canavalia Jackbeans (Canavalia ensiformis (L))


A comparative study of roasting, cooking with and without calcium hydroxide and extrusion cooking on the protein quality of Canavalia was conducted. The results suggested both extrusion and pressure cooking with lime to be equally effective in improving the protein quality of Canavalia and superior to pressure cooking alone and roasting, the latter effective possibly in destroying the antiphysiological factors in Canavalia but possibly also damaging its protein quality.

The individual effects of roasting, cooking with different levels of calcium hydroxide, and with water under pressure at different times on the protein quality of Canavalia were also studied. These indicated a beneficial effect of calcium hydroxide added at a level of 0.45% by weight of seed, for 30 minutes under pressure. Cooking in water under pressure for 30 minutes with and without lime added was slightly better than cooking for longer periods of time. Roasting was also effective in improving the quality of Canavalia particularly when the T was adjusted at 170°C, and roasting conducted for 15 minutes. A significant improvement in the protein quality of processed Canavalia was obtained by methionine supplementation.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. 1.

    Abbey BW, Ibem GO (1987) Functional properties of raw and heat processed brown bean (Canavalia rosea DC) flour. J Food Sci 52: 406–408

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Bressani R (1973) Legumes in human diets and how they might be improved. In: Milner M (ed.), Nutritional Improvement of Food Legumes by Breeding. New York: John Wiley & Sons, pp. 15–42

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Bressani R, Elias LG, Valiente AT (1963) Effect of cooking and of amino acid supple-mentation on the nutritive value of black beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L) Brit J Nutrition 17: 69–78

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Bressani R, Estrada-Ligorria L, García-Soto A (1989) Some agronomic characteristics of Canavalia sp. Turrialba, in press

  5. 5.

    Bressani R, Gómez Brenes RA, García A, Elías LG (1987) Chemical composition, amino acid content and protein quality ofCanavalia sp. seeds. J Sci Food Agric 40: 17–23

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Bressani R, Scrimshaw NS (1958) Lime-heat effects on corn nutrients, effect of lime treatment on in vitro availability of essential amino acids and solubility of protein fractions in corn. J Agric Food Chem 6: 774–778

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Crine P, Lemieux EJ (1982) Incorporation of Canavanine into rat pais intermedia proteins inhibits the maturation of pro-oxionilanocortin, the common precursor to adrenocortisotropin and -lipotropin. J Biol Chem 257: 832–838

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Hegsted DM, Mills RC, Elvehjem CA, Hart EB (1941) Choline in the nutrition of chicks. J Biol Chem 138: 459–466

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Kay DE (1979) Food legumes. TPI crop and product digest No. 3. Tropical Products Institute 56/62, Gray's Inn Road, London WO/X 8LV

  10. 10.

    Manna L, Hauge SM (1953) A possible relationship of vitamin B/3 to orotic acid. J Biol Chem 202: 91–96

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Natelson S (1985) Canavanine to arginine ratio in alfalfa (Medicago sativa) clover (Trifolium) and the Jack Bean (Canavalia ensiformis). J Agr Food Chem 33: 413–419

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Molina MR, Argueta CE, Bressani R (1974) Extraction of nitrogenous constituents from the Jack Bean (Canavalia ensiformis) J Agric Food Chem 22: 309–312

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Molina MR, Bressani R (1975) Protein-starch extraction and nutritive value of the Jack Bean and Jack Bean protein isolate. In: Jaffé WG (ed.), Nutritional Aspects of Common Beans and Other Legume Seeds as Animal and Human Foods. Caracas, Venezuela: Archivos Latinoamericanos de Nutrición, pp. 93–108

    Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Rosenthal GA (1977) The biological effects and mode of action of L-Canavanine, a structural analogue of L-arginine. Quart Rev Biol 52: 155–178

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    De la Vega A, Sotelo A (1982) Valor nutritivo de la semilla de Canavalia ensiformis sola y suplementada con mentionina y cereales. Rev Soc Quim Mex 26: 92–96

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Bressani, R., Sosa, J.L. Effect of processing on the nutritive value of Canavalia Jackbeans (Canavalia ensiformis (L)). Plant Food Hum Nutr 40, 207–214 (1990).

Download citation

Key words

  • Canavalia
  • methods of processing
  • effects on nutritive value