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Rie Sadohara, James D. Kelly and Karen A. Cichy

Common beans are recognized as a nutrient-dense food source that delivers numerous health benefits, but one of the barriers to increasing bean consumption is the limited number of common bean food products. Bean paste, made from bean seed and sugar, has the potential to diversify and expand the way beans are consumed. In this study, commercial white seeded otebo, navy, great northern, and white kidney bean cultivars and one colored cranberry bean were grown in two environments in Michigan and evaluated for bean paste qualities. Characteristics such as paste yield, color, flavor, and stickiness were evaluated on the bean paste. The genotype × environment effect was significant for many of the paste-making qualities and the color values of the unsweetened paste. ‘Snowdon’, the white kidney bean, had superior paste yield of unsweetened paste and whiteness of sweetened paste in both environments. All the white bean cultivars were comparable to Hime, the control otebo cultivar, in terms of low flavor intensity. ‘Powderhorn’, the great northern bean, had high stickiness of sweetened paste, which is preferable. The cranberry bean resulted in dark-colored paste with high flavor intensity. Seedcoat percentage and the ratio of L* and C* obtained via image analysis could be used as indicators for paste yield and whiteness score of the unsweetened paste, respectively. Overall, these results suggest that specific domestically grown white bean cultivars have potential for development as bean paste products, which would add a novelty to the processed dry bean applications in the United States.