Journal of Food Security
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Journal of Food Security. 2017, 5(6), 212-222
DOI: 10.12691/jfs-5-6-2
Open AccessArticle

Neglected and Underutilized Legumes (NULs) Hazards and Probabilistic Risks Associated with Some Selected Dietary Lectins

Isaac W. Ofosu1, , William O. Ellis1, Kwabena Nsiah2 and Ibok N. Oduro1

1Department of Food Science and Technology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana West Africa

2Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana West Africa

Pub. Date: November 01, 2017

Cite this paper:
Isaac W. Ofosu, William O. Ellis, Kwabena Nsiah and Ibok N. Oduro. Neglected and Underutilized Legumes (NULs) Hazards and Probabilistic Risks Associated with Some Selected Dietary Lectins. Journal of Food Security. 2017; 5(6):212-222. doi: 10.12691/jfs-5-6-2


NULs are increasingly becoming food security crop but consumers complain about their safety after consumption. This is a serious matter that must be investigated so that the exposure and risks associated with their usage are evaluated and any uncertainties quantified. A structured interview schedule was used to collect data on NULs familiarity and consumption and the perception of consumers regarding their potential hazards. Also, time-temperature inactivation of the agglutinins of NULs flours, together with the NULs’ model dishes were studied, from which the risk assessment of lectin’s systemic toxicity was evaluated using the hazard-based approach. It was observed that, majority of the respondents who were over 40 years (67.6%) were also familiar (59.4%) with NULs and consumed NULs dishes (59.4%). The most popular dishes were obtained from the seeds of Vigna sp. (15.9%) and Phaseolus sp. (14.95%). The majority (66%) perceived the presence of hazards in NULs, citing pesticide residues (58.7%) but not intrinsic hazard as threat. A few also considered pesticide residues to be interactive with food additives (16.6 %) as dangerous. Majority (66.1%) considered NULs dishes as safe, while at the same time complained of discomfort (97.2%) after consumption. Yet, they would still recommend their use to others. Significantly high quantities of agglutinins remained in Vigna sp. flours even after cooking for 1 h relative to others. The hazard quotients of all the NULs dishes were above 1, meaning consumers are at risk of systemic toxicity. Respondents were somewhat confused about their perception of NULs safety, especially towards intrinsic hazards. Since extrinsic toxicity can be controlled, consumers must be made aware of the potential inherent threats that are associated with NULs consumption.

neglected legume dishes intrinsic hazard agglutinins hazard quotient lectin risk

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