The presence and inactivation of trypsin inhibitors, tannins, lectins and amylase inhibitors in legume seeds during germination. A review

Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 1992 Jan;42(1):71-85. doi: 10.1007/BF02196074.


During the germination of legume seeds, enzymes become active in order to degrade starch, storage-protein and proteinaceous antinutritional factors. The degradation of storage-protein is necessary to make peptides and amino acids available in order to stimulate seed growth and early plant growth. Proteinaceous antinutritional factors such as amylase inhibitors, lectins and trypsin inhibitors are present in legume seeds and protect them against predators. However, during germination, they degrade to a lower level by the action of several enzymes. The effect of germination on the content and activity of amylase inhibitors, lectins, tannins and trypsin inhibitors is discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amylases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Animals
  • Enzymes / metabolism*
  • Fabaceae*
  • Humans
  • Lectins / analysis
  • Plant Lectins
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Seeds*
  • Tannins / analysis
  • Trypsin Inhibitors / analysis


  • Enzymes
  • Lectins
  • Plant Lectins
  • Tannins
  • Trypsin Inhibitors
  • Amylases