Enhancing Chemopreventive Agents in Beans

Period of Performance: 09/30/2004 - 08/30/2005


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Chi's Research Corporation
5354 Beachside Drive
Minnetonka, MN 55343
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The long-term objectives of this project will assess if food-grade enzymes can enhance the level of chemo preventive agents in legumes. Four of the 10 top causes of death in the United States (US) - heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes - are associated with diets high in calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol or too low in dietary fiber. Diet-related health conditions costs society at last $250 billion a year in medical costs and lost productivity. The use of food grade enzymes will be studied to determine if enhancing the chemo preventive agents (polyphenols) that are present in beans is feasible, if the quantity and/or antioxidant activity is increased by 25 percent in treated beans when compared to untreated (control) beans. The specific aims of this project are: Aim 1: Identify, characterize, quantify and determine the antioxidant activity associated with polyphenols present in untreated pinto, black and navy beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) to characterize the chemo preventive agents in legumes. Aim 2: Apply cellulases to specifically degrade the seed coat of Pinto, black and navy beans to reduce the fibrous network of beans that is partly responsible for limiting the availability of chemo preventive agents in beans. Aim 3: Identify, characterize, quantify and determine the antioxidant activity present in cellulase-treated pinto, black and navy beans. Pinto, navy and black beans where chosen since they are the top 3 bean varieties produced and consumed in the US. Four test groups that include control beans, conventionally soaked beans; enzyme application by soaking and spraying will be studied. Acidic and neutral extraction systems will be used to quantify total polyphenols and anthocyanins. Antioxidant capacity will be measured by TEAC and ORAC assay. Data will be expressed as an average of triplicate experiments. ANOVA will be used to analyze each test variable to determine significant difference. State of the art techniques will be used to enable completion of this research proposal in the specified time period.