Reducing added sodium and sugar intake from processed legumes without affecting quality

Lavaraj Devkota, Lizhong He, Jocelyn Midgley, Yvonne Chen, Victoria S. Haritos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Increased intake of legumes is encouraged on every dietary guideline given their health benefits. Processed sources of legumes are often preferred for convenience but contain a considerable amount of added salt and sugar. Here we addressed two questions: are sodium and sucrose levels elevated in legumes processed with sodium chloride (NaCl) and sucrose and, can these additives be reduced without affecting bean hydration, quality, nutrition and sensory characteristics of small red beans (Phaseolus vulgaris). Hydrated beans were canned in media with added NaCl from 0.5 to 2.0 g/100g and sucrose from 1.0 to 4.0 g/100g in a matrix design with small quantities of CaCl2 and acetic acid to preserve bean firmness and colour. Cans were retort-processed at pilot scale for 26 min at 126 °C (260 kPa). Bean moisture content decreased while firmness increased with increase in salt and/or sugar concentrations. Sodium and sucrose uptake into beans determined by ICP-OES and HPLC-RI respectively, decreased significantly (p < 0.05) with salt and sugar reductions. Sensory analysis of beans showed comparable quality attributes for beans containing up to 33% lower salt and 50% lower sugar. Therefore, significant reduction of salt and sugar is possible in processed legumes enhancing healthy status without affecting overall sensory quality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110729
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Legumes processing
  • Phaseolus vulgaris
  • Salt reduction
  • Sensory evaluation
  • Sugar reduction

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