Canavalia legumes for food security

Canavalia legumes as an indigenous resource to enhance food security in Indonesia.

World population growth continues to increase every year which lead to increased demand for various food items in the future. Among protein sources, legumes are good and cheap sources of protein which contribute substantially to the protein intake of a significant proportion of the world population. One of the legume species is the group of Canavalia that is particularly attractive as a protein source due to its protein and calories content, low price, easily available, and high productivity. However, the utilization is still limited due to poor digestibility, antinutritional content, and hard-to-cook problem.

In this project, we focus on enhancement of digestibility and reducing antinutritional and cooking time as an important issues to address in order to trigger the utilization of Canavalia legumes. To date, a detailed mechanism responsible for the hard-to-cook phenomenon and the optimized cooking conditions to tackle it in Canavalia legume have not been proposed. Moreover, fermentation is one of the key to enhance its digestibility, thus investigation of the nutritional and health quality of cooked Canavalia and fermented Canavalia as well as its characterization are of great importance.

1. A systematic understanding of the hard-to-cook phenomenon in Canavalia legumes.

2. Optimization of processing condition in order to reduce the cooking time.

3. Investigation of the nutritional and health quality of cooked Canavalia and fermented-Canavalia with special reference to protein digestibility.

4. Instrumental and sensory characterization of fermented-Canavalia product.  

In this project, understanding of the cooking problem will be focused on pectin solubilisation investigation. Enhanced protein digestibility will be carried out by a fungal fermentation process. Furthermore, the fermented Canavalia will be evaluated for its protein quality, starch, phenolic compound, and anti-nutritional factors. In addition, instrumental and sensory characterization will be carried out for the Canavalia product.