WINGBEAN: SUPER PROTEIN OF THE TROPICS
(From the Batanes Chronicle)
The Wingbean or Pohog in Ivatan, a usual part of the "nilaneg a rinakan"
or Ilocano's "bulanglang" and the Tagalog's "nilagang gulay", holds promise
in the current efforts to stave off worldwide starvation.
With its unusually high protein content, an American Academy of Sciences
report said, "the wingbean appears to have great potential for easing
problems of protein malnutrition throughout the humid tropics."
The report said wingbean contains from 34 to 37 percent protein and is
even superior than the soybean because all its parts (bean, pod, leaves
and roots) can be eaten.
The wingbean, with 20 percent, (dry weight) surpasses the protein content
in other edible roots and tubers such as cassava (1 percent), potatoes
(2 percent) and yams (2 percent), it said.
The report said that mixed with corn, the beans of the pohog compare to
nutritionally with skim milk. The report also said that malnutrition programs
in Africa used flour made from wingbean as substitute for milk in the
treatment of children suffering from kwashiorkor (advance malnutrition).
The report, a compilation of independent findings of researchers from
the United States, Ghana, Papua New Guinea, England, Nigeria, Thailand,
Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia and the Philippines, cited the characteristics
and advantages of the wingbean as a major protein source. · The wingbean
is indigenous to the humid tropics and adoptable to other drier regions
where protein deficiency is high · With additional research, the plant
can be cultivated to yields mass protein requirement. · Existing research
findings on the flour making methods using soybean could be adapt-to wingbean.
· All parts of the plant can be eaten and without any bitter or beany
flavor, or any known adverse side effects.