Legume Carotenoids

Legume carotenoids.
Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 1987;26(2):137-55
Sri Kantha S, Erdman JW Jr.

Laboratory of Marine Biochemistry, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tokyo, Japan.

In recent years, the results of research studies have suggested a positive beneficial relationship between a vegetarian-based diet and low incidence of diseases, including coronary heart disease, cancer, obesity, dental caries, and osteoporosis. beta-Carotene has specifically been suggested as a nutrient with antitumorigenic properties. In this regard there is a need to evaluate the carotenoid content of foods. Legumes are one of the staple components of a vegetarian diet. This review specifically surveys the prevalence of carotenoids in food and forage legumes. In addition, the methods available for carotenoid analysis are discussed; factors affecting the determination of carotenoid content during maturation, germination, processing and storage are identified; research areas which have been inadequately explored are identified; and suggestions are made for future lines of investigation.