Authors : Kashyap S, Varkey A, Shivakumar N, Devi S, Reddy B H R, Thomas T, Preston T, Sreeman S, Kurpad AV
Publication Year : 2019
Good-quality plant protein sources are important for protein adequacy in a balanced diet. Legumes are known to be a source of good quality plant protein, but the true ileal digestibility of indispensable amino acids (IAAs) of commonly consumed legumes is not known in humans.
In this study we measured the true ileal IAA digestibility of 2H-intrinsically labeled chickpea, yellow pea, and mung bean (hulled and dehulled) protein, using the dual-isotope tracer technique referenced to a standard protein ([U-13C] spirulina). The study also aimed to validate the use of [U-13C] spirulina as a reference protein in this method.
2H-intrinsically labeled legumes, obtained by watering plants with deuterium oxide (2H2O), were administered in a plateau feeding method to healthy Indian adults to measure their true ileal IAA digestibility with the dual-isotope tracer technique, using [U-13C] spirulina protein or a 13C-algal IAA mixture as the standard.
The true ileal IAA digestibilities (mean ± SD) of chickpea, yellow pea, and mung bean were 74.6 ± 0.8%, 71.6 ± 1.3%, and 63.2 ± 1.5%, respectively. The true mean ileal IAA digestibility of mung bean when referenced to [U-13C] spirulina protein or a 13C-algal IAA mixture did not differ significantly (63.2 ± 1.5% versus 64.0 ± 2.4%, P > 0.05). The true ileal IAA digestibility of mung bean improved to 70.9 ± 2.1% after dehulling.
The true mean ileal IAA digestibility of legumes in healthy Indian adults was lower than expected. Traditional processing techniques such as dehulling improve protein digestibility by about 8%.