Skip to comments.India Halts Global Warming.
Posted on 03/28/2002 4:06:24 AM PST by scouse
Thu, Mar 28 2002 10:38 PM AEST
Zapping beans to reduce flatulence and global warming
Pioneering researchers in India have found a way to reduce flatulence caused by eating beans, the British weekly New Scientist reports.
Jammala Machaiah and Mrinal Pednekar of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Trombay zapped mung beans, chickpeas and black-eyed beans with gamma rays.
Levels of oligosaccharides, a carbohydrate that is the main culprit in intestinal gas, were cut by up to 80 per cent, although kidney beans were strangely left unaffected by the treatment.
"In India, beans are a very popular and important part of the national diet, but some people can't eat a lot of beans because of the flatulence problem," Jammala Machaiah said.
"This is unfortunate, as it is a very good source of essential nutrients.
"Irradiation would make beans less of a problem."
If the technique takes off, there could even be a minor environmental benefit, for it would help the fight against global warming.
Pigs fed with meal made with reduced oligosaccharides would be less flatulent and thus release less methane, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere.
The research is published in full in the latest issue of a specialist journal, Food Chemistry.
The New Scientist article appears in next Saturday's issue.
Irradiation is a commonly used technique in the food industry to extend shelf life by killing bacteria that cause rot.
In most countries, it is only permitted under licence and the treated food has to be marked.
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