Why leave the beans soggy before cooking?

The nutrient bioavailability of cereals, legumes and oilseeds is limited because they contain antinutrients such as phytates and tannins.

Phytic acid (phytate) is the main form of phosphorus storage in these foods.

We, monogastric animals, are unable to metabolize phytic acid. This is due to the fact that we have insufficient levels of phytate-degrading enzymes, which is therefore largely excreted in our feces (~ 70%). In addition, phytic acid acts as an antinutrient, blocking the absorption of minerals such as Iron, Zinc, Calcium, Magnesium and Manganese.

In the long term, its deficiencies are capable of causing disorders in our organism, such as: impaired cellular growth and differentiation, abnormal neurobehavioral development, anemia, immune dysfunction, increased morbidity and mortality, osteoporosis, osteopenia, among others.

Fortunately, we can remove much of the phytic acid from food and increase the bioavailability of phosphorus, thereby increase the digestibility and the nutritional value of meals.

So let's go to the methods:


It is the most important in the germination and fermentation process of cereals. This method involves the complete submersion of the beans in the water for a certain period of time, which results in the activation of endogenous phytinase. With this, studies show a reduction of phytate by 55%.


It is a metabolic process in which carbohydrates are oxidized to release energy, through fermentation with cultures of Saccharomyces and Lactobacillus. Thus, there is the reduction of phytic acid and tannins, and increased bioavailability of soluble iron, zinc and calcium. Studies show a reduction of these compounds by 88%.


Beans in the cotton??? That's right! During germination there was an increase in phytate degrading activity. Studies show a phytic acid reduction by 40%.

So guess what: a tradition that has not been lost over the centuries has been explained by science. As our great-grandparents already said: you have to leave the beans soggy!

GUPTA, Raj Kishor; GANGOLIYA, Shivraj Singh; SINGH, Nand Kumar. Reduction of phytic acid and enhancement of bioavailable micronutrients in food grains. Journal Of Food Science And Technology, [s.l.], v. 52, n. 2, p.676-684, 24 abr. 2013. Springer Nature. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13197-013-0978-y.

Cultura E Tal:

The Baker's Wife (1938)

O filme é baseado em um livro de Jean Giono, um doce conto pastoral, sobre um padeiro que fica pertur-bado quando sua esposa o deixa.

O padeiro então passa-se a recusar a fornecer pão à aldeia até ela voltar para ele.