When people talk about Beansprouts they usually mean the plump, silver-white sprouts of the mung bean (Vigna radiata), which have been cultivated for 5,000 years and the Chinese call nga choi. Beansprouts are most familiar in Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisines.
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The traditional methods of growing Beansprouts bear little resemblance to the high-tech process that we employ today, although none of the natural goodness has been taken away. This innovative process, invented originally by Joseph Pao, has constantly evolved and remains at the technological heart of the company today.
Our growing system is based on high-level electronic control systems which monitor and create ideal growing conditions. Our Beansprouts are grown using a hydroponic method – no soil, fertiliser or pesticides are used, only potable water. Mung bean seeds are placed in germination tanks and then stored in darkened growing chambers – which each house 60 tanks and are kept under strict environmental control. Each tank is watered from above with a precise volume of temperature-controlled water at specified intervals.
Processing and Packing
After six to seven days, a silver-white mass of Beansprouts bursts from the top of each tank, ready to be harvested. Each germination tank is unloaded onto a computerised conveyor belt system which delicately removes roots and seed husks. The Beansprouts are then packed according to individual customer requirements and immediately vacuum-chilled to 5º C before distribution.
We have a fleet of refrigerated vehicles and also use 3rd party transport companies for full flexibility.
Food safety is actively managed and of paramount importance at J. Pao. From seed to shelf, we are able to guarantee our Beansprouts are produced under the strictest conditions, unsurpassed by any other manufacturer. Our production facility complies with or exceeds EU Health & Safety regulations, and is regularly inspected and audited.
Procedures at every stage of production ensure our Beansprouts remains free from microbiological, chemical or physical contamination. Laboratory screening is undertaken on a daily basis, and the packaging process is under constant visual and electronic surveillance to detect foreign objects. All our seeds are certified to be GM-free.
We maintain close links with the Food Standards Agency (UK) and the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (UK).
Beansprouts contain more concentrated and digestible nutrition than the dry mung bean. Once germinated, many complex processes begin: saturated fats become unsaturated, proteins are broken down into their component amino acids and starchy carbohydrates are converted into more digestible oligosaccharides. Perhaps the most remarkable process during germination is the synthesis of vitamins, minerals and other health-promoting substances.
Beansprouts have a high nutritional value, each 100g serving providing 6.18g total carbohydrate, 3.16 g protein and 1.9 g of dietary fibre, whilst containing only 31 calories, extremely low sodium and zero cholesterol. Beansprouts contain 8 of the essential amino acids and are a source of omega-3 (17mg) and omega-6 fatty acids (44mg).
Several essential vitamins are available in the same 100g serving of Beansprouts. These include Vitamin K (34µg), Vitamin C (14mg) and folic acid (60µg or 15% of RDA). Other vitamins (up to 8% RDI) are also available, including (in descending order) riboflavin, thiamine, Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), niacin, pantothenic acid and Vitamin E.
Important dietary minerals are also found in Beansprouts. Significant amounts of both copper and manganese can be found, each at around 10% RDI. Other minerals are also available (up to 9% RDI), such as phosphorous, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, calcium and selenium.
Reference: USDA National Nutrient Database
The mung bean has an established written history of medicinal benefit dating back to the 10th century A.D. Beansprouts are considered by the Chinese as yin or cooling. In the Indian Ayurveda approach to health, mung beans are one of the most cherished foods as they are believed they balance all three doshas (mind-body types). Today, in East and West, they are widely studied by medical researchers.
Hover over the dots to learn more about the medicinal values of Beansprouts.
HAIR AND NAIL FRAGILITY
Hair and nail fragility is often the result of nutritional deficiencies, especially certain amino acids, vitamins and zinc. Beansprouts contain high amounts of all these nutrients in a readily available form.
The regular consumption of Beansprouts can help reduce the blood levels of unfriendly LDL-cholesterol which bind to the high fibre and lecithin content. This, in combination with their antioxidant properties, can help prevent the development of atherosclerosis – the most common cause of heart disease.
Beansprouts are an excellent source of lecithin which, besides lowering blood cholesterol levels, helps reduce fatty liver disease, a common liver condition that can result in liver dysfunction and cirrhosis.
Beansprouts are rich in iron, which plays a key role in the synthesis of haemoglobin, the protein that helps red blood cells to carry oxygen. They are also particularly high in Vitamin C, which enhances the absorption of iron from the intestine.
Beansprouts are said to contribute to the fertility for men by increasing healthy sperm production.
FERTILITY and CHILDBEARING
Beansprouts are reported to be effective in reducing the acidity of cervical mucus, thereby facilitating conception. High folic acid levels help prevent neural tube defects in the unborn child.
Beansprouts are rich in phyto-oestrogens, which can act to mimic oestrogens, and some consider this activity helps relieve many problems associated with the menopause such as hot flushes, heart palpitations and osteoporosis (weak bones).
It has been shown that phyto-oestrogens act on certain receptors found in the skin, stimulating the synthesis of hyaluronic acid, collagen and elastin, which are vital in maintaining skin elasticity and moisture.
Due to their high fibre content, Beansprouts improve intestinal motility which can help prevent colon cancer as well as help to eliminate toxins from the body. Unlike other larger beans, Beansprouts have low levels of the starches responsible for bloating and flatulence.
GLYCAEMIC INDEX (GI)
Carbohydrates can be ranked 0-100 on the glycaemic index (GI). Low GI foods produce a gradual rise in blood sugar, and can improve cholesterol levels and delay hunger. Of the commonest starchy foods eaten in Asia, the mung bean noodle (cellophane or glass noodle) has the lowest GI at 28.
Beansprouts are known to have anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic effects.The phyto-oestrogens found in Beansprouts may reduce breast cancer risk by affecting communication pathways between cells and preventing the formation of tumours.
Beansprouts are known to have anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic effects. Isoliquiritigenin, a natural flavonoid found in Beansprouts, are currently being evaluated for their potential role in treating prostate and lung cancer.
DEPRESSION AND INSOMNIA
γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an important neurotransmitter that encourages emotional and mental well-being and may help with depression, insomnia and autonomic nervous system disorders.
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Kwon GT, Cho HJ, Chung WY, et al. Isoliquiritigenin inhibits migration and invasion of prostate cancer cells: possible mediation by decreased JNK/AP-1 signaling. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 2009;20(9): 663-76
Lin MH, Wu MC, Lu S, et al. Glycemic index, glycemic load and insulinemic index of Chinese starchy foods. World Journal of Gastroenterology 2010;16(39): 4973-9
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Fletcher RJ. Food sources of phyto-oestrogens and their precursors in Europe. British Journal of Nutrition 2003;89 Suppl 1: S39-43