In the Smart Protein project, lentils, chickpeas, fava beans, and quinoa are called the “fantastic four” because they are all good sources of protein. Together, these crops and the byproducts of making beer and pasta are the raw materials for making a new generation of foods that are cheap, healthy, and good for the environment. But why are lentils one of the chosen ones? Read on to find out what lentils do behind the scenes. But before getting into the article, our company is a well-known Lentils supplier and Peas exporter online.
Lentils; A Smart Choice:
Lentils have about 26% good protein on average. They are the main source of protein for more than a billion people, along with other grain-legume seeds. They also have a lot of potential to be used in new plant-based foods. The protein in lentils helps make them more nutritious, and lentils also make them easier to work with and taste better.
They are great for crop rotation, just like other legumes. Lentils can get about 85% of the nitrogen they need from the air. This helps make the soil more fertile for other crops and saves farmers money on fertilizers. It also gives the farmers another product to sell.
Also, lentils have a lot of good nutrients, which makes them an important part of helping to fight malnutrition.
Getting Rid of World Hunger:
In areas where many people live in poverty, lentils are a staple crop.
- They have important macronutrients and micronutrients, like iron and zinc, as well as important vitamins (like E and K) that are harder to find in other common foods.
- Because lentils have very little phytic acid, they are a good source of iron and zinc. (This acid usually binds to iron and zinc, making it hard for the body to absorb them in the small intestine.
- Lentils also have phytonutrients, which help reduce inflammation, fight free radicals, and prevent cancer.
- It has also been shown that eating pulses improves serum-lipid profiles and lowers blood pressure, inflammation, and other risk factors for heart disease.
- Even though lentils have all of these things in one small seed, they don’t have all of the essential amino acids that they should. But most people eat lentils with grains, usually rice. This is because lentils and grains together make a cheap, healthy meal that has all the essential amino acids.
- Indian daal with rice or naan is one example. In many parts of Africa, people eat lentil soup or stew with different kinds of bread, like injera in Ethiopia and Eritrea and lah oh in Somalia.
- But where do these little packages of energy come from?
The Old Rhythms of the “Old World”:
Lentils that are grown (Lens culinaris) were first found in Western and Central Asia. They were one of the first crops that people in the “Old World” learned to grow (Africa, Asia, and Europe). This bean is grown in more than 70 countries and is eaten all over the world. Around the world, 6.3 million tons of lentils were grown in 2018. Canada had the most (33 percent of the world total), followed by India (25 percent), and the United States (6%).
Since 1960, lentil production has grown at a rate of more than 10% per year. Only soya bean production has grown faster, which is likely because lentils cook faster than other pulses. The lens-shaped seeds can be brown, black, green, white, or gray, and they can have patterns (spotted, marbled, or dotted) or not. The color of the cotyledon can also vary (red, yellow, green).
Processing has a big effect on how the raw ingredients turn out in the end. Ultrafiltration, for example, leads to a lot more protein and makes the protein much easier to dissolve. Also, the lentil protein isolates made with this method are better in terms of their ability to bind to fat and water, their ability to gel, and their ability to form foam. Compared to traditional dairy proteins, lentil-protein isolate has promising properties, and a low carbon footprint, and can be used to replace eggs in baked goods like doughnuts and muffins or as an emulsifier in salad dressings. When ground up into flour, lentils are used to make gluten-free crackers.
A recent paper by Jeske et al. (2019) also showed that lentil protein isolates have a lot of potentials to be used to make milk substitutes. Using different homogenization and pasteurization methods, it was shown how to make and describe a lentil-based milk substitute. The “lentil milk” that was made had a protein content of 3.3% (w/w), a fat content similar to commercial cow’s milk, and a taste and texture similar to soy milk.
Open to Flavours:
Lentils can now grow well on every continent except Antarctica. They are found all over the world because they don’t need a lot of water (250 mm of annual rainfall is sufficient). In fact, flooding and standing water can cause damage to lentil crops. Farmers often choose lentils for their fields in areas where there is a lot of droughts. Climate and temperature are also important factors that affect how lentils are grown. As a crop that grows best in cool weather, lentils need low temperatures when they are growing leaves.
So, in tropical and subtropical areas, planting happens after the summer crops are harvested, and lentils are grown in the winter. But where it gets too cold in the winter, sewing is done in the spring. When the plant keeps growing and getting bigger, it needs warm temperatures (it grows best between 18 and 30°C). Lentils don’t care much about the soil they grow in. They have gotten used to different types of soil and can grow almost anywhere, from sand to clay, as long as there is good drainage. If they could choose, they would like deep, sandy loam soils with a moderate amount of nutrients.
Lentils as Dessert:
If you have a sweet tooth and want something sweet, chocolate, muffins, pudding, cookies, etc. may be the first things that come to mind. Few people will think of sweetness when they think of lentils. But there are some interesting desserts you should try that are made with lentils. Check out these lentil bites, lentil brownies, lentil blondies, and lentil muffins with carrots.
Overall, lentils are a great fit for the Smart Protein project. They can be used in almost any kind of dish, from sweet to savory. Since they can grow almost anywhere on Earth, a local supply chain is possible. This could help countries become less dependent on other countries for protein and staple foods in the future. Lentils are a great way to prevent malnutrition and can also be used to make new plant-based foods that are not only good for you but also good for the environment, cheap, and tasty.
You’ve probably heard of lentils and even eaten them, but it can be hard to know exactly what they are. Lentils are in the same family as chickpeas and beans, which are also called legumes. There are many different kinds of lentils, but they all have one thing in common: they are a great source of fiber and protein.
If you are looking for good-quality lentils, you are at the right place.