[Effect of different cooking treatments of Mucuna beans on its L-Dopa content]

Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2006 Jun;56(2):175-84.
[Article in Spanish]


The main limiting factor in the consumption by humans of the velvet bean (Mucuna) is its relatively high content of L-Dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-Dopa), with levels as high as 9%. Conventional cooking methods used to transform raw velvet bean into an edible product are not sufficiently effective in reducing the levels of L-Dopa in adequate processing time. In this report, Mucuna beans were cooked by microwave, utilizing vapor and in water solutions at pH 3, 6, 7, 9 and 11. Cooking alkaline solutions were achieved using sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, and calcium hydroxide. The acid pH was achieved through the use of HCl. The initial cooking time was fixed at 6 hrs. The processed bean samples were dried, ground and analyzed for L-Dopa and protein. The ground samples were further washed with boiling water for 0, 3 and 6 minutes, them dried and analyzed. None of the procedures evaluated was capable of eliminating L-Dopa from Mucuna beans. The Ca(OH)2 treatment at pH 9 which was washed with hot water produce a reduction of L-Dopa of 80.4%. There was not effect attributed to the alkaline ions. Reducing particle size appears to be most effective as it has been shown by other workers.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Calcium Hydroxide / administration & dosage
  • Caustics / administration & dosage
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Hydroxides / administration & dosage
  • Indicators and Reagents / administration & dosage
  • Levodopa / analysis*
  • Levodopa / toxicity
  • Linear Models
  • Microwaves
  • Mucuna / chemistry*
  • Plant Proteins / analysis
  • Potassium Compounds / administration & dosage
  • Seeds / chemistry*
  • Sodium Hydroxide / administration & dosage


  • Caustics
  • Hydroxides
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Plant Proteins
  • Potassium Compounds
  • Levodopa
  • Sodium Hydroxide
  • Calcium Hydroxide
  • potassium hydroxide