Plant Foods for Human Nutrition

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 193–201 | Cite as

Effect of processing on some chemical and nutritional characteristics of pre-cooked and dehydrated legumes

  • Ana María Estévez
  • Elena Castillo
  • Fernando Figuerola
  • Enrique Yáñez


The effect of processing on chemical composition and protein quality of three legumes was studied. The species analyzed were beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), Tórtola and Coscorrón varieties; lentils (Lens esculenta), Laird variety; and chick peas (Cicer arietinum), California-INIA variety. The legumes were soaked in a solution of Na2 EDTA at 0.03% for 16 h and cooked for a predetermined period for each species. They were dried in a tray drier with cross currents of air flowing at a speed of 10 m/min until the residual mositure content was 8%. The water activity in the resulting products ranged from 0.574 to 0.587, thus completely assurring no microbial activity. No important changes were observed in the legumes protein, fat, or fibre contents after processing. The soaking solution was effective in reducing the phytic acid content from 2.99 to 1.64 mg/100 g in the Tórtola beans, which had the highest acid value prior processing. In all the species the heat treatment reduced the activity of the trypsin inhibitors by at least 50%. Cooking and drying significantly increased protein digestibility in all the legumes studied, with chick peas showing the most dramatic increase: from 54.7% pre-processing to 94.9% post-processing. With regard to Net Protein Ratio (NPR), chick peas had a value of 4.03, followed by Tórtola beans (3.29), Coscorrón (3.09) and lentils (2.61). The NPR value for the casein diet was 4.20.

Key words

legumes dehydrated beans processing nutritional characteristics 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana María Estévez
    • 1
  • Elena Castillo
    • 1
  • Fernando Figuerola
    • 1
  • Enrique Yáñez
    • 2
  1. 1.Departmento de Agroindustria y Tecnología de los Alimentos, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias y ForestalesUniversidad de ChileSantiagoChile
  2. 2.Instituto de Nutrición y Tecnología de los AlimentosUniversidad de ChileSantiago 11Chile

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