Fatty acid, carotenoid and tocopherol compositions of 20 Canadian lentil cultivars and synergistic contribution to antioxidant activities
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Understanding the profile of lipophilic phytochemicals in lentils is necessary to better understand the health benefits of lentils. The fatty acid, carotenoid and tocopherol compositions and antioxidant activities of the lipophilic extracts of 20 lentil cultivars (10 red and 10 green) were therefore examined. Lentils contained 1.52-2.95% lipids, of which 77.5-81.7% were unsaturated essential fatty acids. Total tocopherols ranged from 37 to 64μg/g DW, predominantly γ-tocopherol (96-98% of the tocopherol content), followed by δ- and α-tocopherol. trans-Lutein was the primary and major carotenoid (64-78%) followed by trans-zeaxanthin (5-13%). Carotenoids and tocopherols showed weak correlation with 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) activity (r=0.4893 and 0.3259, respectively), but good correlation when combined (r=0.6688), suggesting they may act synergistically. Carotenoids were found to contribute the most to the strong antioxidant activity measured by photochemiluminescence (PCL) assay. Results from this study contribute to the development of lentil cultivars and related functional foods with increased health benefits.
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