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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Small Grain and Food Crops Quality Research » Research » Research Project #444527

Research Project: Pulse Quality Characteristics for Product Development That Consider Adverse Effects on Human Health

Location: Small Grain and Food Crops Quality Research

Project Number: 3060-43440-016-017-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 16, 2023
End Date: Dec 15, 2024

The proposed work focuses on pulse crop antinutrients that are perceived as barriers to product development and to increased consumption of pulses and pulse-containing products by the consumer. We will utilize three objectives to develop new methods for the detection of these antinutrients: 1) Develop and test a high throughput assay for the detection of active lectins in common bean, chickpea, dry pea, and lentil; 2) Develop a high-sensitivity pan protease assay to quantify concentrations of protease inhibitors and their inactivation in common bean, chickpea, dry pea, and lentil; and 3) Develop a breathalyzer assay system for the in vivo detection of pulse fermentation by the gut microbiome.

Current cultivars of common bean, chickpea, dry pea, and lentil will be used to develop the lectin and protease inhibitor activity assays (Objectives 1 and 2). Following assay validation, heat/pressure inactivation sensitivity curves will be generated using the same starting material and freshly obtained seed from pulse breeders. The evaluation will then be expanded to flours and extrusion products provided by food ingredient and product developers and to commercially produced products. A pulse fermentation breathalyzer will be developed using NIST-certified hydrogen and methane gas detectors to accomplish Objective 3. The assessment protocol will be established using commercially prepared canned common bean, chickpea, dry pea, and lentil. To ensure particle size consistency of ingested pulse, a standardized smoothie preparation will be used. While protocol development does not require human subjects’ approval, the device will not be used for product testing since that would require IRB approval. Training manuals and any required software will be developed for the use of the breathalyzer. Training videos will also be produced using a green screen recording studio.