16. Antinutrients and Toxicity in Plant-based Foods

Cereals and Pulses

  1. Rajeev Bhat2 and
  2. Vicente M. Gómez-López3
  1. Salim-ur-Rehman,
  2. Javaid Aziz Awan,
  3. Faqir Muhammad Anjum and
  4. MuhammadAtif Randhawa

Published Online: 4 APR 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9781118474563.ch16

Practical Food Safety: Contemporary Issues and Future Directions

Practical Food Safety: Contemporary Issues and Future Directions

How to Cite

Salim-ur-Rehman, Awan, J. A., Anjum, F. M. and Randhawa, M. (2014) Antinutrients and Toxicity in Plant-based Foods, in Practical Food Safety: Contemporary Issues and Future Directions (eds R. Bhat and V. M. Gómez-López), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118474563.ch16

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Food Technology Division, School of Industrial Technology Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia

  2. 3

    Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura, (CEBAS-CSIC), Murcia, Spain

Author Information

  1. National Institute of Food Science & Technology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 APR 2014
  2. Published Print: 19 MAY 2014

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118474600

Online ISBN: 9781118474563



  • antinutrients;
  • cereals;
  • detoxification;
  • legumes;
  • plant-derived allergens;
  • pulses;
  • toxicity


Toxicity from the consumption of legumes occurs due to the presence of antinutritional factors such as protease inhibitors, haemagglutinins, phytic acid, tannins, cyanogens, lathyrogens and allergens. There are two distinct mechanisms through which the intrinsic chemicals act as toxicants in the human body. Some naturally occurring chemical compounds exert their harmful effects by binding or destroying particular nutrients in food. Another mechanism through which intrinsic chemicals exert their action is by decreasing the absorption or utilization of one nutrient or the other. To prevent hazards associated with toxins naturally present in plant foods, it is important that wild and unfamiliar plants should not be eaten. Various processing techniques such as soaking, boiling and steeping in water may be applied to reduce the toxic factors from cereals and pulses. Legumes play an important role in lowering serum cholesterol and increasing the saturation levels of cholesterol in the bile.