Ferment and cook beans for gas-free nutrition

Fermenting beans and then cooking them not only reduces the majority of the soluble fibre that leads to flatulence, but also enhances their nutritional quality. Now we know which bacteria are important for the fermentation, reveal findings published online today in the SCI's Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

Beans are already an important source of nutrients, and many people would eat more of them if it wasn't for the flatulence. In many situations treating food to remove one problem often reduces its nutritional value, but a team of researchers at Simón Bolívar University in Caracas, Venezuela, have shown how flatulence can be reduced, while the nutritional value is enhanced.

Flatulence is caused by bacteria that live in the large intestine breaking down parts of the food that have not been digested higher in the gut, and releasing gas. Led by Marisela Granito, the researchers had previous shown that fermenting the beans could destroy many of these compounds. Now this team of researchers at has identified the bacteria that perform this fermentation.

Publishing their work in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, they show firstly that Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus plantarum are the key bacteria. These can be encouraged to grow either by deliberately adding it to a batch, or by inoculating with liquor from a previous batch.

Secondly, they discovered that once these fermented beans are cooked, the amounts of nutrients in the bean that could be digested and absorbed had increased significantly.

"Our results show that L. casei could be used as a functional starter culture in the food industry," says Granito.

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Notes For Editors:

Granito, M. et. al: Lactic acid fermentation of black beans (Phaseolus vulgaris): microbiological and chemical characterization; JSFA, 2490/05-0089

About the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture

Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture is an SCI journal, published by John Wiley & Sons, on behalf of the Society of Chemical Industry, and is available in print (ISSN: 0022-5142) and online (ISSN: 1097-0010) via Wiley Interscience www.interscience.wiley.com For further information about the journal go to: http://www.interscience.wiley.com/jsfa

About SCI

SCI is 'where science meets business'; an interdisciplinary network connecting Science, Commerce and Industry at all levels worldwide. Founded in London in 1881 and in New York in 1894, SCI provides opportunities for forward looking people in the pharmaceuticals, chemical, energy, water, materials, agriculture, environmental protection, food and construction areas to exchange ideas and gain new perspectives on technologies, markets, strategies and people. SCI's expertise and impartiality attracts men and women from all levels of business, research and public life, providing them with access to specialist meetings and symposia, e-events, journals, awards, student prizes and scholarships, books, and the respected twice-monthly magazine Chemistry & Industry. Find out more about 'where science meets business' at www.soci.org.

About Wiley

John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., based in Chichester, England, is the largest subsidiary of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., provides must-have content and services to customers world-wide. Our core businesses include scientific, technical, and medical journals, encyclopedias, books, and online products and services; professional and consumer books and subscription services; and educational materials for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners. Wiley has publishing, marketing, and distribution centers in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols JWa and JWb. Wiley's recently relaunched Internet site can be accessed at http://www.wiley.com.


Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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