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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVED FOOD QUALITY IN DRY BEANS USING GENETIC AND MOLECULAR APPROACHES

Location: Sugarbeet and Bean Research

Title: Protein Content and Canning Quality of Historically Important Navy Bean Varieties in Michigan

Authors
item Butler, Nicole -
item Cichy, Karen

Submitted to: Bean Improvement Cooperative Annual Report
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: March 10, 2011
Publication Date: June 1, 2011
Citation: Butler, N., Cichy, K.A. 2011. Protein Content and Canning Quality of Historically Important Navy Bean Varieties in Michigan. Bean Improvement Cooperative Annual Report. 54:8-9.

Interpretive Summary: Navy beans are currently one of the most important dry bean market classes in the U.S. They also have historical significance in Michigan where the first U.S. dry bean breeding program was established in 1907, with navy beans as a major focus. In 1915 the first navy bean variety released and later a crossing program was begun to improve agronomic traits. In 1938 Michelite was the first released bred variety. Since most navy beans in the US are consumed as a canned product, the ability of a given variety to hold up during canning is important for the success of the variety. One trait that is not a major focus of bean breeding programs is seed protein content in spite of the fact that beans are largely considered a good source of protein. The objective of this research was to determine if seed protein levels and canning quality has remained similar in navy beans varieties of commercial importance released between 1915 and 2008. Five varieties of navy beans of historic importance were planted in a replicated field trial. Seed protein was measured and each variety was also canned in tin cans and visual appeal, color, and texture of the canned beans was determined. While the protein levels in the five varieties were different, the canning quality was similar. This uniformity in canning quality is an indication of the importance of acceptable canning quality for a commercially successful navy bean variety.

Technical Abstract: Navy beans are one of the most important dry bean market classes in the U.S, and from the late 1800s until 2005 they have been the most planted market class in Michigan. The Michigan State College Agricultural Experiment Station established the first dry bean breeding program in the country in 1907 and in 1915 Robust was the first navy bean variety released and was the most popular variety in MI from 1915 to 1935. Following the release of Robust, a crossing program was begun to improve agronomic traits and in 1938 Michelite was the first released bred variety. Since the early days of bean breeding in the US, disease resistance, yield, and seed appearance have been described as essential traits. Canning quality has also been an important consideration for success of a variety, as approximately 90% of the navy beans in the U.S. are sold as canned product. One trait that is not a major focus of bean breeding programs is seed protein content in spite of the fact that beans are largely considered a good source of protein. The objective of this research was to determine if seed protein levels and canning quality are similar in select navy beans varieties of commercial importance released between 1915 and 2008. Five varieties of navy beans were planted in a replicated field trial in MI in June 2010. Following harvest, seed nitrogen content was measured and crude protein (%) was estimated by multiplying percent total N by a conversion factor (6.25). Three replications of each variety were canned and visual appeal, color, and texture of the canned beans was determined. There was significant variability for percent protein between the five navy bean varieties of historical commercial importance ranging from 18.8 to 21.8 percent. Canning quality, measured by overall appearance was similar among these varieties. This uniformity in canning quality is probably an indication of the importance of acceptable canning quality for a commercially successful navy bean variety.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014