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Abstract of UF Dissertation, 2008

The Mucuna pruriens bean has high protein and starch contents, but also contains 3, 4 - dihydroxy-L-phenylalanine (L-Dopa), which has pharmaceutical properties, but is toxic when ingested by monogastrics. Experiments were conducted to detoxify Mucuna for monogastrics, and to evaluate its anthelmintic effect in ruminants. Experiment 1a) examined how long it takes to decrease the pH of ensiled Mucuna to < 4.6, the typical minimum pH for ensiled legumes. Crushed beans (6 mm) were ensiled for 0, 3, 7, 21, and 28 days. A pH of 4.5 and an L-Dopa concentration of 1.3% (54% reduction) were recorded after 28 days of ensiling. Experiment 1b) determined the effect of particle size (2, 4, or 6 mm) of ensiled Mucuna on L-Dopa concentration and on fermentation and nutritional characteristics. Ensiling 1- or 6-mm particles reduced the LDopa concentration by about 60% while preserving most nutrients.