Legumes as a source of proteins, fibres, carotenoids and phytosterols

The world production of beans accounted in 2014 well over 20 MT (26 MT dry beans, 21 MT green beans) of which 0.7 and 0.8 MT respectively produced in EU. The gross production value estimated in 13.7 and 8.8 billion USD respectively for dry and green beans, worldwide. Regarding peas production, 11 MT for dry peas and 17 MT for green peas were produced worldwide in 201412 of which respectively 3.4 MT and 1.1 MT were produced in EU. The gross production value estimated in 3.6 and 13.2 billion USD respectively for dry and green beans, worldwide.


Beans and peas industrial processing by-products generally consist of non-conforming peas, skins and plant parts, especially pods still present after the field harvest. Preliminary data from Conserves France (CONS) estimated the amount of processing residues in 12-14% of the raw material processed. The amount of processing losses from peas and beans in all Europe was quantified in 139,000 and 51,000 T. per year. The general composition of peas byproducts was also determined in 80.4% water, 5.6% protein, 0.5% fat, 10.8% carbohydrates, 0.70% minerals.


Carotenoids and phytosterol contents in peas, beans and chickpea are respectively about 35-135 mg/100g and 1.4 - 2.4 mg/100g of fresh weight.



Fungi as an alternative source of proteins, chitosan and b-glucans


Mushroom production in 2014 reached about 13 billion T worldwide 6.2 billion T was cultivated in Europe. The mushroom market, in terms of value, is projected to reach over 50 billion USD by 2019, at a CAGR of 9.5% from 2014, with about 13.7 billion T produced and being the fastest-growing food sector in Europe.


This is mainly due to consumers’ significant change in food preferences and eating habits and the search for low-fat food and health and wellness awareness. Regarding the type of mushrooms, 43% is Paris champignon (Agaricus bisporus), 29% is Shiitake (Lentinula edodes), 12% is Oyster (Pleurotus ostreatus), 16% other mushrooms. The average waste ratio of the mushroom industry is ranging between 5 to 20% of fresh weight and the global waste of fresh mushrooms is 1.87 billion T per year. The general nutritional composition is 20-25% of proteins, 2-3% of lipids, 8-12% ash 8-12% of the dry matter. Soluble and insoluble fibres (chitin/chitosan and b-glucans) account for 30-300 g/kg of dry matter.



Coffee as source of fibres, polyphenols and caffeine


Green coffee production worldwide accounted for 8.8 MT none of which grown in EU countries. The gross production value of green coffee in 2014 was about 18 billion USD. The most important EU producer is Brazil followed by Vietnam and Colombia. The vast majority of the worldwide green coffee production is imported by EU countries (about 2.7 MT in 2015).


Coffee producers usually submit the green coffee to a roasting process during which several by-products are produced of which the most relevant is silver skin (estimated to be about 1-4% of the processed green coffee). Silver skin is a fine integument that covers and protects the external layer of the seed, grossly called grain, of green coffee. It is partially taken off in field, during desiccation and removal of coffee seeds from the fruits, and partly during roasting. In 2013, it was estimated a coffee production losses represents about 26,000 tonnes per year in EU.


The chemical composition of the silver skin by-product was determined and consists of 70-79% of dietary fibre (15% soluble fibre), cellulose and hemicellulose (around 15%), in about 5% of fat and important bio-functional molecules such as caffeine (0.9%) and polyphenolic compounds (0.6%). Thus the silver skin may certainly be promising also for the nutritional and cosmetic purposes.


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This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under GA No 790157.

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