Extracted fractions from black and red common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) were studied using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). Beans were stored under three conditions: control at 4 degrees C; hard-to-cook (HTC) at 29 degrees C, 65% RH for 3.5 months; and refrigerated at 2 degrees C, 79% RH for 3.5 months after a HTC period (called HTC-refrigerated). Two fractions isolated from the beans, the soluble pectin fraction (SPF) and the water insoluble residue of the cell wall (WIRCW), were analyzed using diffuse reflectance (DRIFTS) FT-IR. The soaking water and cooking water from the beans were also studied using attenuated total reflectance (ATR) FT-IR. The DRIFTS FT-IR results from the SPF and WIRCW fractions were consistent with previously published data for Carioca beans showing that in general, more phenolic compounds were associated with the SPF of HTC beans than in the control beans. Results also showed that HTC-refrigerated beans had higher concentrations of phenolic compounds than control beans in the SPF. The ATR FT-IR results for soaking and cooking waters from the HTC-refrigerated and HTC beans had higher concentrations of absorbing compounds than the control beans, indicating that they lost more constituents to the water. Additionally, results indicate that the mechanism(s) for reversibility of the HTC defect could be different than the one(s) involved in the development of the defect.