Location: Plant Polymer Research2013 Annual Report
1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Whereas the work published previously has been useful, we seek to look beyond what has been done in order to bring fresh perspectives and to open up new opportunities. We propose to take advantage of what is known about edible beans and explore three areas of application: energy, materials, and specialty chemicals.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
We propose to carry out the initial work with neat, unextracted edible beans, because this is the fastest way to produce results. The next step is to carry out extractions. Some work is needed to determine the optimal extraction procedures. Thirdly, the different extracts will be studied for their commercial potential. Currently we plan to look at starch first, but the order of investigation may be changed during the study to optimize the efforts. Additional physical and/or chemical modifications may be needed to increase value of the extracts. In addition, some efforts will be expended to look at commercial potential of these various materials.
3. Progress Report:
Over the past four years NHBGA provided ARS with funds to explore the use of beans and bean components in new and non-traditional end-uses such as polymeric composites. In late 2012 NHBGA requested our help to determine the nutrient content of 2012 edible bean crops from Colorado, North Dakota, Idaho, Nebraska, Manitoba, Montana, and Idaho. ARS determined the calories, fat, carbohydrate, dietary fiber, protein, thiamin, folic acid, and other metals. ARS also did a study for them to determine the softening point of various beans.