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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #365882

Research Project: Bioavailability of Iron, Zinc and Select Phytochemicals for Improved Health (Bridging Project)

Location: Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research

Title: An In Vivo (Gallus gallus) Feeding Trial Demonstrating the Enhanced Iron Bioavailability Properties of the Fast Cooking Manteca Yellow Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.)

item Wiesinger, Jason
item Glahn, Raymond
item Cichy, Karen
item Kolba, Nikolai
item Hart, Jonathan
item Tako, Elad

Submitted to: Nutrients
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/27/2019
Publication Date: 8/1/2019
Citation: Wiesinger, J.A., Glahn, R.P., Cichy, K.A., Kolba, N.J., Hart, J.J., Tako, E.N. 2019. An in vivo (Gallus gallus) feeding trial demonstrates the enhanced iron bioavailability properties of the fast cooking Manteca yellow bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Nutrients. 11(8):1768.

Interpretive Summary: The common dry bean is a globally produce pulse crop and important dietary staple for millions of people across Latin America, the Caribbean, Southern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa. While beans are rich source of dietary protein and iron, many of the preferred black and red seed types in these regions have color compounds that interfere with the absorption of iron during digestion. USDA scientists have recently discovered that yellow beans have a unique set of color compounds, but evidence was lacking to understand what effect the yellow color would have on the bioavailability of dietary iron after cooking. An established in vivo (Gallus gallus) animal model was used to compare the iron bioavailability of yellow beans with different seed coat colors (Manteca, Amarillo, Njano) to commercially available white and red kidney beans. This study shows that animals fed yellow bean diets were able to maintain their iron status and hemoglobin production better than animals fed the white and red kidney bean diets. This study demonstrates how the yellow bean can be utilized by Academic and International bean breeding programs to help address iron deficiency in regions where beans are consumed as a dietary staple.

Technical Abstract: The common dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is a globally produced pulse crop and an important source of micronutrients for millions of people across Latin America and Africa. Many of the preferred black and red seed types in these regions have seed coat polyphenols that inhibit the absorption of iron. Yellow beans are distinct from other market classes because they accumulate the antioxidant kaempferol 3-glucoside in their seed coats. Due to their fast cooking tendencies, yellow beans are often marketed at premium prices in the same geographical regions where dietary iron deficiency is a major health concern. Hence, this study compared the iron bioavailability of three faster cooking yellow beans with contrasting seed coat colors from Africa (Manteca, Amarillo, Njano) to slower cooking white and red kidney commercial varieties. Iron status and iron bioavailability was assessed by the capacity of a bean based diet to generate and maintain total body hemoglobin iron (Hb-Fe) during a 6 week in vivo (Gallus gallus) feeding trial. Over the course of the experiment, animals fed yellow bean diets had significantly (p = 0.05) higher Hb-Fe than animals fed the white or red kidney bean diet. This study shows that the Manteca yellow bean possess a rare combination of biochemical traits that result in faster cooking times and improved iron bioavailability. The Manteca yellow bean is worthy of germplasm enhancement to address iron deficiency in regions where beans are consumed as a dietary staple.