Submitted to: Saginaw Valley Bean and Beet Farm Report
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: February 5, 2012
Publication Date: February 22, 2012
Citation: Cichy, K.A., Shaw, R.S., Duckert, T.M. 2012. Canning Quality and Color Retention in Black Beans. Saginaw Valley Bean and Beet Farm Report. p. 115-121. Interpretive Summary: Black bean production and consumption has increased in recent years. They have replaced navy beans as the second most planted dry bean class (after pinto beans). A common form of delivery of black beans to the market is as a canned product. While black bean popularity is on the rise, there are some quality issues that must be addressed to improve this product. Black bean color results from water soluble compounds. Therefore when beans are cooked or canned, the black color has a tendency to leach out of the bean. This leaves a brown colored bean, which is undesirable by consumers. There is genetic variability for black color retention. An evaluation of seed yield, canning quality and color retention was conducted on a recombinant inbred line population. This population was developed from a cross between two contrasting black bean varieties, one with excellent canning quality and one with average canning quality. The line with superior canning quality also had a shiny seed coat, which is not favored by the bean canning industry. The line with the average canning quality had an opaque seed coat. Lines that combined opaque seed coat, superior canning quality and superior color retention were identified.
Technical Abstract: Black beans are Michigan’s most important dry bean seed type. There is a strong demand for Michigan grown black beans domestically and internationally. Black bean processing presents unique challenges because of the nature of black bean color. Atypical of other bean market classes, black beans are rich in anthocyanins which impart their black color. Since anthocyanins are water soluble, they readily leach out of seeds during soaking and thermal processing. This processing quality issue affects consumer acceptance of beans such that the cooked or canned product no longer appears black, but instead a shade of brown. There is significant genetic variability for color leaching in black beans and how beans withstand the canning process, including seed color retention, plays an important role in determining the adoption of a variety. Characterization of genetic variability for black bean color will aid in the development of black bean varieties with improved processing quality and consumer appeal. Improved consumer acceptance will further increase the black bean production opportunities for Michigan farmers. An evaluation of seed yield, canning quality and color retention was conducted on a recombinant inbred line population developed from a cross between two contrasting black bean varieties, one with excellent canning quality and a shiny seed coat and one with average canning quality and an opaque seed coat. There were numerous lines that exhibited exceptional color retention and overall canning quality. The line with the highest overall canning quality score at 4.35, also had an opaque seed coat, which is preferred by the canning industry.