Background: Ultra-processed foodstuffs have been replacing traditional beans with tortillas in the Mexican diet in the last decades. Therefore, scientific support is needed to promote a return to good-quality traditional dishes. Objectives: This study aims to evaluate the amino acid digestibility and score of pinto beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) consumed with corn tortillas and guacamole in adults using the dual-tracer method. Methods: The pinto beans were intrinsically labeled using 250 mL of 2H2O (99.8%) per 19 L pot with 3 plants. A paste of cooked beans on toasted corn tortillas and guacamole topping were administered to 3 male and 3 female adults (21–25 years old; BMI, 19–23.5 kg/m2). The protocol was plateau feeding given along with U-[13C]-spirulina protein to evaluate indispensable amino acid (IAA) digestibility using the dual-tracer method. Blood samples were taken in the plateau state. The digestibility of each IAA of the bean protein was calculated by the ratio of its enrichment in the beans to the spirulina in the meal and its appearance in plasma collected in the plateau state, as a percentage corrected by spirulina digestibility. Additionally, the digestible IAA score (DIAAS) was calculated. Results: The 2H enrichment of IAA in the pinto beans was 471 parts per million excess. The isotopic enrichment of 2H and 13C in IAA at 5–8 hours presented plateau states with mean CVs of 12.2% and 13.3%, respectively. The mean digestibility of IAA from pinto beans was 77% ± 1.6%, with the lowest value for threonine. The DIAAS calculated with respect to the pattern requirement for children older than 3 years, adolescents, and adults was 83%, with methionine and cysteine being the limiting amino acids. Conclusions: A Mexican dish of pinto beans, tortillas, and guacamole is a good source of protein as evaluated in adults and could be promoted as a nutritious snack. The assay is registered with the Ethical Committee of the Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, A.C. as CE/015/2019.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) granted this research (CRP Code: E4.30.31, contract number: MEX 19285).
© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society for Nutrition. All rights reserved.
- Digestible indispensable amino acid score
- Dual-tracer method
- H-labeled pinto beans
- Ileal amino acid digestibility
- Mexican dish