Nutritional and antinutritional composition of fava bean (Vicia faba L., var. minor) cultivars.

Affiliation

Mayer Labba IC(1), Frøkiær H(2), Sandberg AS(3).
Author information:
(1)Food and Nutrition Science, Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden. Electronic address: [Email]
(2)Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Denmark.
(3)Food and Nutrition Science, Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Abstract

A dietary shift from resource-demanding animal protein to sustainable food sources, such as protein-rich beans, lowers the climate footprint of food production. In this study, we examined the nutrients and antinutrients in 15 fava bean varieties cultivated in Sweden to select varieties with high nutritional value. On a dry weight basis, the fava beans were analyzed for their content of protein (range 26-33%), amino acids (leucine range: 50.8-72.1 mg/g protein, lysine range: 44.8-74.8 mg/g protein), dietary fiber (soluble fraction range: 0.55-1.06%, insoluble fraction range: 10.7-16.0%), and iron (1.8-21.3 mg/100 g) and zinc contents (0.9-5.2 mg/100 g), as well as for the following antinutrients: lectin (0.8-3.2 HU/mg); trypsin inhibitor (1.2-23.1 TIU/mg) and saponin (18-109 µg/g); phytate (112-1,281 mg/100 g); total phenolic content (1.4-5 mg GAE/g); and vicine(403 µg/g - 7,014 µg/g), convicine (35.5 µg/g - 3,121 µg/g) and the oligosaccharides raffinose (1.1-3.9 g/kg), stachyose (4.4-13.7 g/kg) and verbascose (8-15 g/kg). The results indicate substantial differences between cultivars in relation to their contents of nutrients and antinutrients. Only one of the cultivars studied (Sunrise) have adequate estimated bioavailability of iron, which is of major concern for a diet in which legumes and grains serve as important sources of iron. The nutritional gain from consuming fava beans is significantly affected by the cultivar chosen as the food source.