A quantitative assessment of the anti-nutritional properties of Canadian pulses

  • Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Peas
  • Pulse Science Cluster
  • University of Saskatchewan

Lead Investigator(s)

Dr. Michael Nickerson

Lead Investigator(s) Institution

University of Saskatchewan


To perform a comprehensive chemical analysis of the antinutritional factors (ANFs) found within Canadian pulses, focusing on measuring levels of ANFs in whole and split pulses rather than pulse fractions.


The levels of oligosaccharides, total phenolics, and saponin contents varied widely among the Canadian pulses. Oligosaccharide levels were found to vary among the pulses. However, all flours contained higher levels than those found in literature for soybean. The total polyphenol levels found in the red lentils and dark red kidney beans were comparable to literature reported values for soybean. In general, values for other Canadian pulses were on the order of 2-5 five times lower than those reported for soybean. The saponins content was found to be highest in whole pinto beans, and lowest in faba beans. However, in the case of all Canadian pulses, levels of saponins were much lower than those reported for soybean. Soaking/cooking did prove to be an effective method at reducing the levels of oligosaccharides, polyphenols, vicine/convicine and saponins, however none of these antinutritional factors were eliminated.

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SPG Contribution


Project Status


Duration/Timeline of Project (Year to Year)

2014 - 2017


Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Total Project Cost