General acceptability of the consumption of the INTA Ferroso bean, a variety whose iron and zinc content surpass the INTA Cincuenteño variety, which is commonly consumed in the country, was the result of a sensorial study carried out with bean producers and consumers of the department of Carazo, in Nicaragua.
Some 96 families who participated in the study found no significant differences between the acceptability and preference of the two varieties. Nevertheless, the nutritional content does make a difference: INTA Ferroso contains 76 mg/kg of iron, which is a 32% increase of the iron content, and 25 mg/kg of zinc, which represents a 6% increase in the zinc content, as compared with INTA Cincuenteño.
The high nutritional content of INTA Ferroso could represent a major contribution of iron and zinc to the consumers in this region, since the consumption of beans in the rural area is 65 grams per person per day, exceeding the average consumption at the national level, which is 56 grams, according to the IV Survey of Apparent Consumption of Foods in Nicaragua of 2004.
According to the study, some 99% of the participants consume beans 2 to 3 times a day and 90% of the families do so directly from the production of their farms, which makes INTA Ferroso a variety with a high potential for contributing to the improvement of food and nutritional security in the region.
Furthermore, INTA Ferroso has better agronomic characteristics that benefit the producer. It is tolerant to drought, golden mosaic virus, bean common mosaic, and angular leaf spot – problems that have an impact on the reduction of the yield of the grain, and limit the ingestion of beans by the population.
The sensory evaluation studies are part of a necessity for being acquainted with and proving whether a variety can be accepted by the population; because, although the quality of a food is determined by the nutritional aspects and health safety, its acceptance is also related to the population’s subjective perception and preference, which values elements such as aroma, color, flavor, texture, consistency, and presentation.