Transforming Agriculture, Perennially

Scientific Publications

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Perennial Baki™ Bean Safety for Human Consumption: Evidence from an Analysis of Heavy Metals, Folate, Canavanine, Mycotoxins, Microorganisms and Pesticides

Author: Evan B. Craine, Spencer Barriball, Muhammet Şakiroğlu, Tessa Peters & Brandon Schlautman

Publication: Molecules

The Land Institute’s Perennial Legumes and Crop Stewardship teams, with support from research partner Muhammet Şakiroğlu, co-authored the third installment of a series of papers documenting the characteristics of perennial Baki™ (Bah-key) Bean, the edible pulse derived from the plant sainfoin (san-foyn), as a novel pulse crop for human consumption and its safety to eat.


Global food production relies on annual grain crops. The reliability and productivity of these crops are threatened by adaptations to climate change and unsustainable rates of soil loss associated with their cultivation. Perennial grain crops, which do not require planting every year, have been proposed as a transformative solution to these challenges. Perennial grain crops typically rely on wild species as direct domesticates or as sources of perenniality in hybridization with annual grains. Onobrychis spp. (sainfoins) are a genus of perennial legumes domesticated as ancient forages. Baki™ bean is the tradename for pulses derived from sainfoins, with ongoing domestication underway to extend demonstrated benefits to sustainable agriculture. This study contributes to a growing body of evidence characterizing the nutritional quality of Baki™ bean. Through two studies, we investigated the safety of Baki™ bean for human consumption. We quantified heavy metals, folate, and canavanine for samples from commercial seed producers, and we quantified levels of mycotoxins, microorganisms, and pesticides in samples from a single year and seed producer, representing different varieties and production locations. The investigated analytes were not detectable or occurred at levels that do not pose a significant safety risk. Overall, this study supports the safety of Baki™ bean for human consumption as a novel pulse crop.




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