Northarvest eyes new uses for dry beans
January 11, 2005
Representatives from the growers association and the Marketing Department at the University of North Dakotas College of Business and Public Administration met with the director and some of the staff of USDA National Center for Agriculture Utilization Research in Peoria, Ill.
NCAUR is the largest of four USDA-ARS utilization centers and is a world-class bioscience research facility. Its mission is to find new uses and markets for U.S. agricultural commodities. Its many accomplishments over the years include the development of a mass-production process for penicillin; the creation of a breakthrough fat substitute; the discovery of a super-absorbent material used in surgical dressing, disposal diapers, and other products; and the advancement of countless soybean products including soy inks, soy oils and soy-adhesives.
Northarvest, UND and NCAUR staff talked about the bio-chemical composition of dry beans, and sketched out a process by which dry beans might gain entry to the NCAUR research program.
As a result of the trip, Northarvest commissioned NDSUs Cereal Science Department to search scientific literature for existing research results that describe current knowledge about the composition and alternative uses of dry beans.
Areas that have been briefly studied include use of dry beans extracts to:
" Control insects and fungi.
" Inhibit starch digestion, a trait that could improve diabetics control of their blood glucose levels.
" Prevent certain types of colon cancer.
" Slow the oxidation of foods and vegetable oils, including soybean oil.
" Produce black plastic.
NCAUR scientists appeared to be intrigued about the prospect of studying dry beans.
None of them could speculate about what - if anything - might come out of this, says Bob Tangsrud, UND assistant professor of marketing. But weve started the ball rolling. to find out.