Various bean products fermented by microorganisms are commonly consumed in Asian diets; however, the safety or functional properties of fermented beans can vary with different microbial species and with different processes being applied to different beans. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the antioxidative and mutagenic properties of 50% ethanolic extracts from red beans fermented by Aspergillus oryzae. The extracts' antioxidative activities, including α,α;-diphenyl-β-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) radical–scavenging effects, Fe2+-chelating ability, and reducing power, were studied in vitro. The antioxidative effects provided by the extracts depended strongly on their concentrations. In general, antioxidative activity increased with extract concentration to a certain point and then leveled off as the concentration further increased. The fermented red bean extracts showed less of a scavenging effect on the DPPH radical and less reducing power than the commercial antioxidants α-tocopherol and butylated hydroxytoluene, but better Fe2+-chelating ability. No mutagenicity or toxicity effect on any of the tested strains (Salmonella Typhimurium TA97, TA98, TA100, TA102, and TA1535) was found for the 50% ethanolic extracts of fermented red beans with the Ames mutagenicity assay. These results suggest that the 50% ethanolic extracts were not mutagenic.

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