Food and Nutrition


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How Cooking Affects Nutritional Factors of Pulses

Pulses have many nutritional components

Pulses have many nutritional components, but they also contain a number of anti-nutritional constituents: trypsin inhibitors, phytic acid, tannins, and oligosaccharides. Trypsin inhibitors are a type of protein that inhibits the digestive enzyme trypsin. Phytic acid reduces mineral bioavailability. Tannins can form with other proteins to decrease the digestibility of protein and lower the availability of amino acids. Oligosaccharides are responsible for gas formation and flatulence. Researchers sought to find out how cooking affects these anti-nutritional properties as well as the beneficial nutrients in beans and chickpeas. Protein, starch, fat, and fiber all were increased significantly by cooking, while reducing tannins and oligosaccharides. Oligosaccharides are especially reduced during soaking time, so plan ahead and put some chickpeas in water before going to bed.

Wang N, Hatcher DW, Tyler RT, Toews R, Gawalko EJ. Effect of cooking on the composition of beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and chickpeas (Cicer arietinum L.). Food Res Int 2010;43:589-594.


Summarized by the NDSU Extension Service.

Development of many of the materials on this website was made possible, in part, with funding from the Northern Pulse Growers Association.

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