The effects on faecal mineral excretion of two commercial varieties (local cultivar and Troy cultivar) of raw faba beans (Vicia faba L., minor) meal (VFM) and its fractions have been studied in growing rats. Diets contained local-VFM (dark seed coat) and Troy-VFM (light seed coat) at 474–500 g/kg diet, hull (VFH) from both varieties at 65 g/kg diet, and the insoluble cotyledon residue (VFCR) obtained from the Troy variety at 237 g/kg diet. Rats were pair-fed on diets which had been supplemented with amino acids to target requirements and contained similar amounts of zinc, manganese, iron and copper. With VFM diets the apparent absorption of Zn and Mn was significantly reduced. On the other hand, with hulls the apparent absorption of Fe was reduced while that of Cu slightly increased. As the amounts of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium in VFM and VFH diets were higher than in the controls, the increased intake resulted in a significant increase in both the apparent absorption and the faecal excretion of these minerals. The inclusion of VFCR in the diet had no significant effect on the mineral content of faeces. The relatively low concentrations of phytate in the bean seeds of 7.8 and 6.7 g/kg for the local and Troy cultivars respectively, could not adequately account for the increased mineral excretion. The results suggest that other seed constituents, possibly the soluble non-starch polysaccharides, may be involved in the elevated loss of Zn and Mn in rats fed on diets containing faba bean for extended periods, while some insoluble structural hull components may interfere with the absorption of Fe from the gut.
Faba bean (Vicia faba): Faecal mineral excretion: Rat.