|GANJYAL, GIRISH - Washington State University|
|FRIESZELL, CRISTEN - Washington State University|
Submitted to: Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/12/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) are one of the most economically and nutritionally important crops world-wide. They are the most important legume for direct human consumption with more than 23 million metric tons produced in 2013; more than twice that of the next most important legume, chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) with just over 11 million tons. Beans have numerous nutritional qualities, such as high protein, high amounts of starch, dietary fiber, minerals, and an array of healthy phytochemicals associated with health benefits such as reduced cardiovascular disease, the prevention of diabetes, and even the prevention of cancer. One important class of phytochemicals includes polyphenolic compounds which impart color, flavor, and anti-oxidant activity. Growing consumer awareness regarding the health benefit of beans in general will likely increase demand, perhaps especially among those who frequent farmers markets and health food stores. The Western Regional Plant Introduction Station of the National Plant Germplasm System lists 30 different market classes of beans, including a class of “heirloom” beans. The demand for heirloom vegetables is rapidly increasing, especially among consumers looking for unique flavors or traits, including health promoting characteristics. We analyzed extractable, non-extractable, and bonded phenolics in 120 heirloom beans exhibiting a wide array of colors and patterns. Phenolic content was correlated with pigments with black and red beans exhibiting the highest levels.