Pattern of Lathyrus sativus (grass pea) consumption and beta-N-oxalyl-α-β-diaminoproprionic acid (β-ODAP) content of food samples in the lathyrism endemic region of northwest ethiopia

Redda Tekle-Haimanot, Berhanu M. Abegaz, Elizabeth Wuhib, Angelina Kassina, Yemane Kidane, Naod Kebede, Tadesse Alemu, Peter S. Spencer

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33 Scopus citations


Grass pea, a legume whose consumption is associated with human lathyrism, is an important food crop among the poorer sectors of society in many parts of Ethiopia. A nutritional survey, focussing on the preparation and consumption of grass pea, in 224 families of two villages of a lathyrism endemic area in northwestern Ethiopia has been undertaken. Grass pea is grown in only one of the two villages. Raw as well as cooked food samples were collected and the levels of β-ODAP determined by the OPT method. Grass pea foods were also prepared in the laboratory following methods used in the villages and analyzed for their toxin level to derive information if certain procedures were capable of reducing the level of toxin. Steeping grass pea in excess water leaches out ca 30% of the β-ODAP. Grass pea bread (kitta) and roasted seeds (kollo) showed elevated levels of β-ODAP compared to the seeds used in the preparation of these foods. Lower levels of β-ODAP were found in boiled snacks (nifro) and the flour form (shiro).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1113-1126
Number of pages14
JournalNutrition Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1993



  • Grass pea
  • Lathyrism
  • Lathyrus sativus
  • Paraparesis
  • β-N-oxalyl-L-α,β-diaminopropionic acid (β-ODAP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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