Journal of food science

Nutritional potential of rice bean (Vigna umbellata): an underutilized legume.

PMID 23278402


Rice bean, a less known and underutilized legume, has emerged as a potential legume because of its nutritional potential. The nutritional quality of rice bean is higher as compared to many other legumes of Vigna family. In the present study, 16 diverse rice bean genotypes were evaluated for major nutritional constituents viz; protein content, total lipids, dietary fiber, total carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, protein fractions, amino acid, and fatty acid profile. The protein content to the extent of 25.57% was observed in the genotype BRS-2 with in vitro digestibility of 54.23%. The fatty acid profile revealed the higher percentage of unsaturated fatty viz., linoleic and linolenic acid, which are nutritionally desirable in the diet. Albumins (6.13% to 7.47%) and globulins (13.11% to 15.56%) constituted the major portion of proteins. Anti-nutritional factors were in the range of: total phenolics (1.63% to 1.82%), total tannins (1.37% to 1.55%), condensed tannins (0.75% to 0.80%), hydrolysable tannins (0.56% to 0.79%), trypsin inhibitor (24.55 to 37.23 mg/g), phytic acid (7.32 to 8.17 mg/g), lipoxygenase activity (703 to 950 units/mg), and saponin content (1.2 to 3.1 mg/100 g). The oligosaccharides associated with the production of flatulence viz., raffinose, stachyose, and verbascose were in the limits of 1.66% to 2.58%, 0.94% to 1.88%, and 0.85% to 1.23%, respectively. In vitro protein digestibility up to 55.57% was observed in rice bean genotypes. The present study has revealed that rice bean is a nutritionally rich legume as compared to many other legumes of the category. Among different genotypes BRS-2 was observed superior and could be advocated for consumption as well as for inclusion in crop improvement programs. Rice bean is nutritionally rich legume, but despite its nutritional excellence, it has been put in underutilized category. Because of this and several other reasons the people are not aware of its nutritional benefits. Moreover, the complete nutritional details are also not available on this pulse. The present study gives the vivid description of nutritional attributes of this legume for making people aware of its nutritional excellence and provoking improved work in rice bean.