The effect of Sprouting on the in vitro Digestibility of Maize and Cowpea


  • Olu Malomo College of Food Science, Bells University of Technology, Ota P.M.B. 1015, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria.
  • A. E. Alamu College of Food Science, Bells University of Technology, Ota P.M.B. 1015, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria.
  • S. O. Oluwajoba College of Food Science, Bells University of Technology, Ota P.M.B. 1015, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria.


In vitro Digestibility, Sprouting, Germination, Protein


Despite the high protein content of cowpeas, their maximum contribution to nutrition has not been fully exploited in many parts of the world because of the following problems: the presence of anti-nutritional factors, such as trypsin inhibitor, which are common with legumes; flatulence factors; low level of sulphur amino acids, particularly methionine; and, in many instances, the inconvenience involved in their long preparation into local dishes. Moreover, there is the problem of the beany off-flavour. Grinding treatments that break most of the cells and release the cell contents of raw legumes prevent the subsequent development of the characteristic beany flavor on cooking. An off-flavour develops when ground raw legumes are suspended in water probably because of mixing of the cell contents enzyme lipoxygenase and could be controlled by adjusting the pH of the slurry towards the acid side.

Germination is widely claimed as a means of correcting nutrient deficiencies of particular seeds, especially through alterations in the amino acid balance of the proteins and enhancement of the content of vitamins. This wide belief is emphasized and investigated in this research. In maize, however, the various food enzymes exited during germination had already played vital roles in breaking down the higher molecular components to simple molecules especially protein, which eases the digestibility as depicted in this investigation.


Download data is not yet available.


[1]. AYKROYD, W.R. and DOUGHTY, J. (1964). “Legumes In human nutrition”. FAO Nutritional Studies, No. 19.
[2]. BAU, H.M., VILLAUME, C, NICOLAS, J.P. and MEJEAN, L. (1997). Effect of germination on chemical composition, biochemical constituents and antinutritional factors of soybean (Glycine max) seeds. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 73(1): 1-9.
[3]. BLANCHARD, M.P. (ED.) (1975). ‘The sprouters cookbook’. Garden Way Publishing, Vermont.
[4]. BOULTER, D. and BARBER J.T. (1963). Amino acid metabolism in germinating seeds of Vicia faba L. In relation to their biology. New Phytol., 62:301-316.
[5]. CHEN, L.H., WELLS, C.E. and FORDHAM, J.R. (1975). Germinated seeds for human consumption. J. Food Sci., 40:1290-1294.
[6]. CHEN, L.H. and PAN, S.H. (1977). Decrease of phytate during germination of pea seeds (Pisum sativum). Nutr. Rep. Int., 16:125-131.
[7]. CUNNINGHAM, S.D., CATER, C.M. and MATTIL, K.F. (1978). Effects of germination on cottonseed protein. J. Food Sci., 43:102-105.
[8]. DHALIWAL, Y.S. and AGGARWAL, R.A.K. (1999). Composition of fat in soybeans as affected by duration of germination and drying temperature. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 36 (3) 266-267.
[9]. EL-ADAWY, T.A., RAHMA, E.H., EL-BEDAWEY, A.A. and EL-BELTAGY, A.E. (2004). Nutritional potential and functional properties of germinated mung bean, pea and lentil seeds. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, 58(3): 1-13
[10]. ELWOOD, C. (1971). Feel like a million. Simon and Schuster of Canada Ltd. Richmond Hills, Ontario.
[11]. FORDHAM, J.R., WELLS, C.E. and CHEN, L.H. (1975). Sprouting of seeds and nutrients composition of seeds and sprouts. J. Food Sci., 40:552-556.
[12]. GHAVIDEL, R.A. and PRAKASH, J. (2007). The impact of germination and dehulling on nutrients, antinutrients, in vitro iron and calcium bioavailability and in vitro starch and protein digestibility of some legume seeds. LWT-Food Science and Technology, 40(7): 1292-1299.
[13]. GIAMI, S.Y. (2004). Effect of germination on bread making properties of wheat-fluted pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis) seed flour blends. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, 58(3): 1-9.
[14]. HAHM, T.S., PARK, S.J. and LO, Y.M. (2008). Effects of germination on chemical composition and functional properties of sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) seeds. Bioresource Technology, 100 (4): 1643-1647.
[15]. GHANEM, K.Z., HUSSEIN, L. (1999). Calcium bioavailability of selected Egyptian foods with emphasis on the impact of germination and fermentation. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 50(5): 351–356.
[16]. KAUSHIK, G., SATYA, S. and NAIK, S.N. (2010). Effect of domestic processing techniques on the nutritional quality of the soybean. Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 3(1): 39-46.
[17]. KUMAR, G.K. and VENKATARAMAN, L.V. (1975). Changes in reserve proteins in cowpea, chickpea and green gram during germination: physico-chemical studies. J. Food Sci. and Technol., 12:292-294.
[18]. MEGAT RUSYDI, M.R., NORALIZA, C.W., AZRINA, A. and ZULKHAIRI, A. (2011). Nutritional changes in germinated legumes and rice varieties. International Food Research Journal, 18: 705-713.
[19]. MANNA, K.M., NAING, K.M. and PE, H. (1995). Amylase activity of some roots and sprouted cereals and beans. Food and Nutrition Bulletin, 16(2): 1-4.
[20]. MARERO, L.M., PAYUMO, E.M., LIBRANDO, E.C., LAINEZ, W.N., GOPEZ M.D. and HOMMA, S. (1988). Technology of weaning food formulations prepared from germinated cereals and legumes. Journal of Food Science, 53(5): 1391-1395.
[21]. MIKOLA, M., BRINCK, O. and JONES, B.L. (2001). Characterization of oat endoproteinases that hydrolyze oat avenins. Cereal Chemistry, 78 (1): 55–58.
[22]. MITCHELL, D.C, LAWRENCE, F.R., HARTMAN, T.J. and CURRAN, J.M. (2009). Consumption of dry beans, peas, and lentils could improve diet quality in the US population. Journal of the American dietetic association, 109: 909-913.
[23]. MUIMUI, K.K. (2010). Beans Stakeholder Consultative Workshop. Common wealth Youth Programme, Africa. Lusaka, Zambia, July 21–22.
[24]. PLATT, B.S. (1956). Soya bean in Human Nutrition. Chem. and Ind. (London), 32:834-37.
[25]. POMERANZ, Y., SHOGREN, M.D. and FINNEY, K.F. (1977). Flour from germinated soybeans in high-protein bread. Journal of Food Science, 42(3): 824-827.
[26]. RIMSTEN, L., HARALDSSON, A.K., ANDERSSON, R., ALMINGER, M., SANDBERG, A.S and AMAN, P. (2003). Effects of malting on beta-glucanase and phytase activity in barley grain. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 82(8): 904–912.
[27]. SANGRONIS, E., RODRIGUEZ, M., CAVA, R. and TORRES, A. (2006). Protein quality of germinated Phaseolus vulgaris. European Food Research and Technology, 222: 144-148.
[28]. SAUNDERS, R.M., CONNOR, M.A., BOOTH, A.I.N., BICKOFF, E.M. and KOHLER, G.O., (1973). Measurement of digestibility of alfalfa protein concentrates by in vivo and in vitro methods. J. Nutr., 103:530-5.
[29]. SUBBULAKSHMI, G., KUMAR, G.K. and VENKATARAMAN, L.V. (1976). Effect of germination on the carbohydrates, proteins, trypsin inhibitor, amylase inhibitor and hemagglutinin in horsegram and mothbean. Nutr. Report Int., 13:19-31.
[30]. TONELLA, M.L., BERRY, J.W. (1987). Characteristics of a chocolate beverage from germinated chickpeas. Journal of Food Science, 52(3): 726-728.
[31]. VANDERSTOEP, J. (1981). Effect of germination on the nutritive value of legumes. Food Technol., 35:83-85.
[32]. VELLUPILLAI, S., NITHYANANTHARAJAH, K. and VASANTHARUBA, S., BALAKUMAR, S., ARASARATNAM, V. (2009). Biochemical Changes Associated with Germinating Rice Grains and Germination Improvement. Rice Science, 16(3): 240–242.
[33]. WANG, T.L., DOMONEY, C., HEDLEY, C.L., CASEY, R. and GRUSAK, M.A. (2003). Can we improve the nutritional quality of legume seeds? Plant Physiology, 131: 886–891,
[34]. WAI, K.N., BISHOP, J.C., MACK, P.B. and COTTON, R.H. (1947). The Vitamin Content of Soybeans and Soybean Sprouts as a Function of Germination Time. Plant Physiol., 22: 117-126.
[35]. WHITE, H.B. (1958). Fat utilization and composition in germinating cotton seeds. Plant Physiol., 32:218-226.
[36]. YANG, F., BASU, T.K. and OORAIKUL, B. (2001). Studies on germination conditions and antioxidant contents of wheat grain. International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition, 52(4): 319–30.
[37]. YASMIN, A., ZEB, A., KHALIL, A.W., PARACHA, G.M. and KHATTAK, A.B. (2008). Effect of Processing on Anti-nutritional Factors of Red Kidney Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) Grains. Food and Bioprocess Technology, 1: 415-419.




How to Cite

Malomo, O., Alamu, A. E., & Oluwajoba, S. O. (2013). The effect of Sprouting on the in vitro Digestibility of Maize and Cowpea. Journal of Advanced Laboratory Research in Biology, 4(2), 82–86. Retrieved from