Rice Bean: An Excellent Nutrient

Rice Bean: An Excellent Nutrient

Author: Melania Tesio

Rice bean (Vigna Umbellata) is a grain legume often neglected as its nutritional potential is unknown.

By examining 16 different varieties of rice bean, Rajan Katoch, College of Agriculture, India, revealed that this legume is as nutritionally rich as other plants belonging to the same family. All the varieties analyzed contained elevated protein levels (up to 25.57 %) and a good proportion of essential amino acids. Albumins and globulins were the most abundant proteins and the overall protein digestibility was high, ranging from 51.23 to 55.57 %. Moreover, although rice bean showed a lower lipid content compared to other legumes, it contained a high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids, important to sustain many metabolic functions. The analysis of anti-nutritional factors such as phenolics, tannins, trypsin inhibitor, phytic acid, lipoxygenase, and saponin revealed that these compounds are present in rice bean within acceptable limits. Thus, rice bean is a legume endowed of an excellent nutritional potential.

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