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Talking Beans
September 01, 2003

Bean Day Coming - Bean Day will be held January 22-23, 2004 at the Fargo, North Dakota Holiday Inn.


New crops trial includes bean
The mung bean - a native of Africa - is being grown in a new crops screening trial at North Dakota State University. Burton Johnson, a North Dakota State University (NDSU) plant science department professor, is screening about a dozen crops from around the world to see how they do in the northern plains. The mung bean seems to emerge and grow well. Whether it blossoms, sets pods and matures on time is another question. "That's the purpose of the trial," he says. "We try to find out which crop we can take to the next level of research."

New crops research is important, Johnson says, because every crop starts out as a new crop. In the 1960s, dry beans themselves were a new crop in the region. Sunflowers and canola are other examples of "new" crops that developed into major enterprises.

"New crops research," he says, "is an investment in the future."


Good for beef, good for beans

An online magazine, reports that food scientists reduced dry bean induced flatulence by irradiating the beans before cooking them.

Flatulence is caused when bacteria in the human intestine consumes certain types of carbohydrates, called oligaccharides.

Scientists at the Food Science Lab in Tromby, India irradiated samples of mung bean, chickpea, black-eyed bean and red kidney beans with various intensities of gamma-ray beams. They then soaked the beans in cold water two days, like most people do before cooking beans.

After two days of soaking, irradiated mung beans had 70-80% fewer oligaccharides than non-irradiated mung beans.

Irradiation use is growing in the meat industry to kill bacteria in ground beef and other products.

Money to be made in Algeria - sometimes

Figure out how to avoid occasional political unrest and market crashes and you may be able to make money exporting beans to Algeria. That's according to a National Dry Bean Council (NDBC) report on market prospects in the African nation. Algeria imports a narrow range of dry legumes: laird lentils, green split peas, large and medium size white beans, garbanzos, and a small amount of blackeye beans. Companies that handle a major portion of the trade visit Algeria often, the NDBC reported recently. Successful traders keep in regular contact with the market, which is "periodically flooded with lentils, white beans or garbanzos, causing internal prices to crash."


Mung beans grow in an NDSU new crops trial.




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Northarvest Bean Growers Association | 50072 East Lake Seven Road | Frazee, MN 56544
Ph: 218-334-6351 | Fax: 218-334-6360 | Email: