Essential Amino Acid Quality Profile in Neglected and Underutilized Legumes (NULs)

Isaac W. Ofosu, William O. Ellis, Kwabena Nsiah, Ibok N. Oduro


A large number of consumers use plant-based products instead of animal-based products for their nourishment. This calls for a thorough investigation of the capacity of NULs to supply nutrients such as amino acids. Five different NULs protein extracts were profiled to ascertain the presence of the essential amino acids. In order to evaluate the quality, the essential amino acids from each of the NULs were matched against the standard FAO/WHO dietary indispensable amino acids for infants, children and adults. It was found that two of the NULs; Vigna sp. and Phaseolus sp. were the most promising, out of the five studied. Vigna sp. could supply adequate quantities of histidine (26.2 mg/g) for all the three age groups. However, isoleucine (35.9 mg/g) and the aromatic amino acid (phenylalanine + tyrosine) (94 mg/g) can supply adequate quantities for only children and adults. Lysine (53.6 mg/g) and threonine (44 mg/g) on the other hand, could be adequately supplied by Phaseolus sp. for at least, the adults’ requirement. If the digestibilities of the two NULs proteins were evaluated to ascertain the levels of the post-prandial amino acids, and the two NULs were complimented with cereals, the NULs flour could eventually supply the essential amino acids for consumers who use them as food.

Keywords: Essential amino acids, Quality, Neglected legumes,

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ISSN (Paper)2224-6088 ISSN (Online)2225-0557

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