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From: Jeff Novick, MS, RD, LD, LN (
Subject:         Re: Large lima beans that won't cook
Date: August 20, 2007 at 7:45 am PST

In Reply to: Large lima beans that won't cook posted by Jack in OH on August 19, 2007 at 9:50 am:

>>>I think I need to find a new source of large lima beans,
because the ones I buy are still crunchy after an overnight soak,
and 1.5 hrs on the stovetop.

I am suprised at them not being tender after an 1.5 hours as that is
usually more than enough. I wonder if the beans are old. Make
sure you are using enough soak water and cookign water during
both of the process. A 3:1 or 4:1 ratio is usually more than

>>My question is, are the antinutrients(trypsin inhibitors) in the
beans inactivated after 1.5 hrs in boiling water, even though
they're not soft?

Yes, that should be more than enough cooking (see below article).

In Health

Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 1992 Apr;42(2):127-33.

Effect of domestic processing, cooking and germination on the
trypsin inhibitor activity and tannin content of faba bean (Vicia

Sharma A, Sehgal S.

The effects of domestic processing methods like soaking for 12 h,
dehulling, ordinary cooking of whole as well as dehulled seeds at
15 lbs/inch2 pressure for 15 and 25 min, and germination for 24,
36 and 48 h were observed on trypsin inhibitor (TIA) and tannin
content of two varieties of faba bean viz. VH-131 and WF. A non-
significant reduction in TIA was observed on soaking and
dehulling, while tannins showed a reduction of 42 and 51% on
soaking in VH 131 and WF, respectively. Dehulled seeds showed a
decline in tannin content by 70 to 73% in two varieties. There was a
significant reduction in TIA (75-76 per cent) and tannin (76-81%)
on cooking, while autoclaving for 25 min almost completely
eliminated both of these stress factors. Germination of seeds for
48 h led to a reduction of 64-65% in TIA and 90-91% in tannins,
which was more than germination for 24 and 36 h. Soaked seeds
gave positive results of both these antinutrients.
PMID: 1574482

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