Sunday, November 01, 2020

Edible legume of lentils

Leguminous plant high in fiber, lentil is one of the early domesticated plant species, as old as those of einkorn, emmer, barley and pea. The plant was given the scientific name Lens culinaris in 1787 by Medikus, a German botanist and physician.

Lentil seeds comprise of 1-2% fat, 24–32% proteins and minerals (iron, cobalt and iodine) and vitamins (lysine and arginine). In addition, lentil is richer in total soluble fiber than peas and chickpeas. Lentil seeds also have high antioxidant activity compared to other grain legume species mainly due to specific phenolic compounds.

Lentil protein are comprised of around 16% albumins, 70% globulins, 11% glutelins and 3% prolamins and its concentrates have been used to replace eggs in production of protein enriched doughnuts, angel food cake, and muffins.

Furthermore, lentil flour was used to make gluten free crackers, lentil flour with transglutaminase has been used as a binding agent to make protein-enriched restructured beef steaks or beef patties. While lentil protein isolates have been used as an emulsifier to produce salad dressings.

In Indian sub-continent mostly, lentils consumed as ‘Dal’ by removal of outer skin and separation of cotyledons, snacks and soup preparation etc. It is easy to cook and easily digestible with high biological value. Dry leaves, stems, empty and broken pods are used as valuable cattle feed.
Edible legume of lentils

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