ISSN 2617-8001 (Print), ISSN 2664-5297 (Online)
Improvement of nutritional qualities of Canavalia rosea (Sw.) DC. by electron-beam irradiation
Prabhavathi Supriya, Kandikere R. Sridhar

Wild legumes are ethnically valued potential nutritional sources in developing countries to combat protein-energy malnutrition. The presence of anti-nutritional traits in seeds of wild legumes is the major impediment to direct utilization, thus necessitating various methods of processing to accomplish nutritional safety. Seeds produced by Canavalia spp. in the coastal sand dunes of southwest India are consumed by the tribals after processing them conventionally. The present study demonstrates the consequences of electron beam (EB) irradiation of coastal sand dune C. rosea seeds towards selective enhancement of nutritional traits especially, the proximal qualities, minerals profile and protein bioavailability. Positive modifications in nutritional attributes at 10 kGy (standard dose) comprise a decline in crude fiber, an increase in mineral contents (phosphorus and magnesium), albumin content and albumin/globulin ratio. Other positive impacts of EB irradiation include the dosage-dependent increase of arginine, raise in the indispensable amino acids/total amino acids ratio and enhancement of digestibility of proteins. Moreover, increased protein digestibility corrected to the amino acid score (His, Ile, Leu, Lys, Thr and Val) and protein efficiency ratios were achieved at the dose of 5 kGy. Besides, selective favourable alterations in fatty acid methyl esters, functional attributes and bioactive components are the additional advantages of the EB irradiation. Even though Canavalia spp. grew in the coastal sand dune ecosystem, their seeds respond to EB irradiation differentially, which has been envisaged to their species-specific characteristics. The EB irradiation of seeds of C. rosea has several advantages such as improvement of nutritional properties, disinfestation and extension of shelf life.

Keywords: amino acids, fatty acids, minerals, protein bioavailability, wild legume, sand dunes