Lentils (Lens culinaris Medikus Subspecies culinaris): a whole food for increased iron and zinc intake

TitleLentils (Lens culinaris Medikus Subspecies culinaris): a whole food for increased iron and zinc intake
AuthorsThavarajah Dil, Thavarajah Pushparajah, Sarker Ashutosh, Vandenberg Albert
TypeJournal Article
JournalJournal of agricultural and food chemistry
Journal AbbreviationJ. Agric. Food Chem.
Journal CountryUnited States
Language Abbreng
Publication Date2009 Jun 24
Publication ModelPrint


<p>Micronutrient malnutrition, the hidden hunger, affects more than 40% of the world's population, and a majority of them are in South and South East Asia and Africa. This study was carried out to determine the potential for iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) biofortification of lentils ( Lens culinaris Medikus subsp. culinaris ) to improve human nutrition. Lentils are a common and quick-cooking nutritious staple pulse in many developing countries. We analyzed the total Fe and Zn concentrations of 19 lentil genotypes grown at eight locations for 2 years in Saskatchewan, Canada. It was observed that some genetic variation exists for Fe and Zn concentrations among the lentil lines tested. The total Fe and Zn concentrations ranged from 73 to 90 mg of Fe kg(-1) and from 44 to 54 mg of Zn kg(-1). The calculated percentages of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for Fe and Zn were within the RDA ranges from a 100 g serving of dry lentils. Broad-sense heritability estimates for Fe and Zn concentrations in lentil seed were 64 and 68%, respectively. It was concluded that lentils have great potential as a whole food source of Fe and Zn for people affected by these nutrient deficiencies. This is the first report on the genetic basis for Fe and Zn micronutrient content in lentils. These results provide some understanding of the genetic basis of Fe and Zn concentrations and will allow for the development of potential strategies for genetic biofortification.</p>


Thavarajah D, Thavarajah P, Sarker A, Vandenberg A. Lentils (Lens culinaris Medikus Subspecies culinaris): a whole food for increased iron and zinc intake. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry. 2009 Jun 24; 57(12):5413-9.

Related Species
Related Species 

Lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) is an important pulse crop with annual production of 3-4 Mt across 70 countries (Cubero et al. 2009. DOI 10.1079/9781845934873.0000; pg. 13). Lentils are a good source of protein, carbohydrates, micronutrients and vitamins for human nutrition and is consumed in more than 120 countries. Furthermore, their small seed size and flat shape make them relatively quick cooking and easily decorticated compared to most other grain legumes (Sharpe et al. 2013. BMC Genomics. DOI 10.1186/1471-2164-14-192). The Lentil plant has a bushy growth habit with a height of about 40 cm; the seeds are lens-shaped and usually grow two per pod. ... [more]

Cross References
This publication is also available in the following databases:
PMID: PubMedPMID:19459707
Research Area
Research Area 

The objectives of the Pulse Research Group Physiology Program is to investigate whole plant and field responses of crops, particularly pulse crops, to nutrient, water and weather.  To understand and improve yield formation in pulse crops in a warming climate.  To investigate and improve nitrogen ... [more]