As
anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) can inhibit the absorption of some nutrients,
some methods can be done to reduce these compounds content in the plant food.
As mentioned by Enneking and Wink (2000), the reduction of anti-nutritional
factors (ANFs) can be done by either by using certain processes or through
genetic manipulation.

A study done by
Adeleke, Adiamo, Fawale and Olamiti (2017) reported that soaking can reduce the
amount of anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) in plants. This shown by the results
from this study. As the soaking time of Bambara groundnuts white increase, the
saponin content in the groundnuts decrease. Saponin is one of the
anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) found in Bambara groundnut white. The other
anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) in these Bambara groundnuts are also studied.
Tannins which reported to be highest in raw groundnuts decrease the content
after 12 hour soaking. This study also managed to report that the significant
reduction in tannin level in soaked samples maybe due to removal of seed coat
and leaching of tannin (a water soluble phenolic compounds) from the cells into
water, which is suggesting that leaching also can be done to reduce the
anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) content in plants. The reduction of tannin,
polyphenols and phytic acid contents in Bambara groundnuts through soaking is
also supported by a study done in 2013 which reported that cooking after
soaking is a useful method in order to improve bioavailability of nutrients (Mazahib, Nuha, Salawa and Babiker, 2013). Another study done
by Afify, El-Beltagi, El-Salam, Omran (2011), phytate
which is one of the anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) was reported to significantly reduce when sorghum undergone the soaking
treatment.

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According to Montagnac,
Davis and Tanumihardjo (2008), another process is called as fermentation
which is commonly used to reduce cyanide content, one of anti-nutritional
factors (ANFs) which is found in cassava. This process is conducted with grated
or soaked cassava roots and results in a decrease in pH value. The fermentation
of grated cassava roots is efficient at removing cyanogen glucosides.

The other process which can help in eliminating the
anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) is mentioned by Anarson (2017) in Healthline. He suggests to do germinating which is
conducted during the plant sprouting period whereby it start emerging
from the seed. Few steps taken which begins with rinsing the seeds in order to remove all debris, dirt and
soil. The seeds are
then soaked for two to twelve hours in cool water. The soaking time
depends on the type of seed. The seeds
are rinsed thoroughly in water. Then, as much water as possible is
drained and the seeds are placed in a sprouting vessel, also called a sprouter.
Make sure to place it out of direct sunlight. The rinsing and draining
processes are repeated about two to four times. This should be done regularly,
or once every eight to twelve hours. During sprouting, changes take place
within the seed that lead to the degradation of anti-nutritional factors (ANFs)
such as phytate and protease inhibitors. Anarson also mentioned that sprouting
has been shown to reduce phytate by 37-81% in various types of grains and
legumes. A slight decrease in lectins and protease inhibitors during sprouting
is also reported in the article.

In
addition, boiling also reported to reduce the anti-nutritional factors
(ANFs) in plants. The use of high heat for example in boiling process in
which requires 100C, can degrade many anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) such as
lectins, tannins and protease inhibitors. Furthermore, calcium
oxalate is reduced by 19-87% in boiled green leafy vegetables.
However, phytate is heat-resistant and not as easily degraded with
boiling so therefore it is recommended to use any other method of eliminating
phytates in plants. Apart from boiling, cooking can also reduce the the
anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) in plants. Cooking time required depends on the
type of the anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) and the cooking method. Generally,
a longer cooking time results in greater reductions of the anti-nutritional
factors (ANFs) (Anarson, 2017).

 

 In genetic engineering, the
identification of alkaloids and non-protein amino acids as the major
anti-nutritional factors present in some plants, now allows for the selection
of genotypes with low level of these factors, thus enabling the development of
low more palatable and less toxicity crops. The selection of genetic material
with contrasting levels of anti-nutritional factors is also ideal suited for
the elucidation of their biological functions. This method includes the
downregulation of the anti-nutritional gene by using strategies such as the
expression of antisense mRNA, the expression of gene targeting and the
expression of synthetic molecular oligonucleotides or ribosomes. For example,
the near complete elimination of ?-cyanoalanine
and ?-glutamyl-?-cyanoalanine from V.
sativa seed has been achieved by a hydrolytic process incorporated into a
commercial splitting operation. Although genetic engineering might help a lot
in eliminating the anti-nutritional factors in plants, the cost is unfavorable
especially under nowadays economic condition which is fluctuated from time to
time (Enneking and
Wink, 2000). Fortunately, the other processes such as cooking and fermentation
can also help in eliminating the anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) in plants.

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