Cowpea fresh pods ¿ a new legume for the market: assessment of their quality and dietary characteristics of 37 cowpea accessions grown in southern Europe

  • Ioannis Karapanos /
  • Anastasia Papandreou /
  • Marianna Skouloudi /
  • Despoina Makrogianni /
  • Juan A. Fernández /
  • Eduardo Rosa /
  • Georgia Ntatsi /
  • Penelope J. Bebeli /
  • Dimitrios Savvas
Journal ar
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
  • Volumen: 97
  • Número: 13
  • Fecha: 01 October 2017
  • Páginas: 4343-4352
  • ISSN: 10970010 00225142
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.8418
  • Document Type: Article
  • Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd Southern Gate Chichester, West Sussex PO19 8SQ
© 2017 Society of Chemical Industry BACKGROUND: Cowpea is traditionally cultivated in some regions of southern Europe for its dried seeds; however, there is a scarcity of information on the quality and dietary characteristics of fresh pods, which are occasionally used in folk diets. This paper aims at covering this gap in knowledge, thereby contributing to the dissemination of fresh cowpea pods as a novel product for the market. The quality and dietary characteristics of pods from 37 accessions (Vigna unguiculata ssp. unguiculata and ssp. sesquipedalis) grown in southern Europe were assessed in an attempt to provide information on pod quality and nutritional properties and to identify relationships between quality traits and accession origin. RESULTS: Pods from the sesquipedalis accessions were heavier and larger, and reached commercial maturity 2 days later, than those from the unguiculata accessions. There were also large differences in the quality and dietary characteristics of the accessions. The pods of most accessions were rich in proteins, chlorophylls, carotenoids and phenolics, and showed high antioxidant activity and low concentrations of nitrates and raffinose-family oligosaccharides. Cluster analysis based on quality, dietary or antinutritional traits did not reveal any apparent grouping among the accessions. All the quality characteristics were independent of accession origin and subspecies. CONCLUSION: Most of the accessions produced fresh pods of good quality and high dietary value, suitable for introduction in the market and/or for use as valuable genetic material for the development of new improved varieties. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

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