Carol Henry is an Associate Professor in College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan. She received her MSc in Food Systems Administration from Loma Linda University, California, and MEd and PhD (Education, policy) from the University of Western Ontario in 2003. As a practitioner-scholar in community-engaged research, she leads a multifaceted research agenda focusing on food and nutrition security with a cross-disciplinary approach integrating agriculture, nutrition and health. She is also part of several international research programs using food based strategies to promote health. She has published widely in international conference proceedings and scientific journals.


Chickpea and haricot bean are pulse foods which constitute an essential part of human diet. However, their nutritional importance is affected by the presence of anti-nutritional factors such as phytate. Limited information is available on its content in pulses following food processing. We investigated changes in nutrient and anti-nutrient content due to combination of thermal and non-thermal food processing; the non-thermal food processing included soaking and germination. Chickpea and bean varieties were obtained from Debreziet and Hawassa research centers, Ethiopia, respectively. Hydration capacity of bean varieties ranged from 69.7% ± 4.1 to 103.8% ± 0.3 while the hydration capacity of chickpea varieties ranged from 81.5% ± 0.5 to 97.7% ± 2.5. There was significant difference in cooking time (19-65 minutes) of chickpea varieties; the lowest cooking time was noted for Habru. Among bean varieties, the cooking time of Red Wolayita was significantly different from Nasir and Hawassa Dume; it took more than twice to cook (p value < 0.01). The phytate content of Habru-based products was reduced by 16-52% during soaking and germination treatments. In case of Hawassa Dume-based products, the phytate content was reduced by 8-35% during soaking and germination treatments with the highest percentage of phytate reduction obtained in 48 and 72 hour germination. Soaking and germination are effective household strategies to reduce the levels of phytate in pulse-based foods. Determining food processing strategies that will reduce anti-nutrients thereby maximizing the utilization of minerals from pulse-based diets is an important step to designing food based interventions.