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03 Issues & Trends
Cereal Foods World, Vol. 63, No. 5
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1094/CFW-63-5-0221
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New Opportunities for Faba Bean
Constance Chiremba,1 Albert Vandenberg,2 Judit Smits,3 Anusha Samaranayaka,4 Ricky Lam,5 and Shannon Hood-Niefer5

1 Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, Saskatoon, SK, Canada. Tel: +1.306.668.5560; Fax: +1.306.668.5557; E-mail: cchiremba@saskpulse.com
2 University of Saskatchewan.
3 University of Calgary.
4 POS BioSciences.
5 Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre, Inc.


Nitrogen fixation by faba bean is unparalleled in annual seed crops adapted to cool-season agricultural systems. Cropping systems that include faba bean benefit from lower energy input, resulting in a smaller atmospheric carbon footprint; improved soil structure, resulting from deeper roots; and improved soil microbial activity, stemming from residual fixed nitrogen. In addition, faba bean is resistant to a root rot that commonly plagues pea and lentil, thus extending crop rotation options. In spite of its benefits, faba bean production has been stagnant globally. One of the barriers to wider use of faba bean has been the presence of vicine and convicine (V-C) in its seeds. These compounds are potentially toxic for humans who have a specific enzyme deficiency (variants of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase [G6PD]). Advancements in faba bean breeding to develop low V-C varieties and development of new food applications are expected to enhance the growth of faba bean production and processing sectors for human consumption. Nutritionally, the high protein content of faba bean makes this pulse crop an attractive choice for incorporation as a protein alternative or protein enhancer in various food products. Promising applications for faba bean ingredients in processes such as extrusion and baking are being tested.

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