European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 244, Issue 5, pp 795–804 | Cite as

Chemical, nutritional, and spectroscopic characterization of typical ecotypes of Mediterranean area beans

  • Francesco Siano
  • Giuseppe Sorrentino
  • Maria Riccardi
  • Fausta De Cunzo
  • Giuseppe Orefice
  • Maria Grazia Volpe
Original Paper


Recent considerations have highlighted the great potential that can arise from extinct ecotypes above all in the so-called marginal areas, where the exploitation of these crops may have the environmental protection value, and in addition, a social value promoting employment in the areas subjects to depopulation. Moreover, many studies have confirmed that regularly consume of beans and other legumes helps to prevent and cure several degenerative diseases. Therefore, in the present work, four “niche” bean ecotypes were characterized from morphological and health point of view to exalt their territorial vocation and give it a sort of identity card or food fingerprint. Beans were characterized by chemical composition, fatty acid, sterols’ profile, and micro/macroelements. The results of this study suggest that the chemical and biochemical characteristics of different bean local Mediterranean ecotypes can be considered of high nutritional quality from a health point of view and their consumption is also a way to preserve the agricultural biodiversity. Among the varieties examined, there is someone richer in health components (sterols, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and some macroelements) than others. Polyunsaturated fatty acids predominated in all samples, ranging from 44 to 72% of total fatty acids, while they exhibited always the following phytosterol profiles: β-sitosterol > stigmasterol > ∆5-avenasterol > campesterol. Brassicasterol was absent in all analyzed samples. Among the four legumes (dry matter), sample Q had the highest concentration of Potassium (14.41 g Kg−1) and calcium (2.32 g Kg−1), while the same elements resulted lowest in sample M (11.3 and 0.82 g Kg−1, respectively). Magnesium content resulted major in ecotype Z (16.46 g Kg−1) and B (15.90 g Kg−1). Concerning the mean concentrations of microelements in all the analyzed samples, the order was found to be: Fe > Zn > Mn > Cu > Mo > Ni. Finally, ATR–FTIR spectra could give an immediately evaluation semi-quantitative of macronutritional components of analyzed samples.


Beans Mediterranean area GC–FID ICP-OES ATR–FTIR 



This paper was realized with technical support of stakeholders of Slow Food Campania partner of EU Project “Protein2Food”. Thanks to mister Sabato Abbagnale, Dr.ssa Silvia D’Ambra, student Eleonora Garozzo Zannini of Tuscia University, mister Antonio Prospero steward of biodiversity for their kindly collaboration.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that there is no competing interest.

Compliance with ethics requirements

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Istituto di Scienze dell’AlimentazioneConsiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)AvellinoItaly
  2. 2.Istituto per i Sistemi Agricoli e Forestali del MediterraneoConsiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)ErcolanoItaly
  3. 3.Slow Food CampaniaFalciano del MassicoItaly

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