Effect of Domestic Cooking on Carotenoids, Tocopherols, Fatty Acids, Phenolics, and Antioxidant Activities of Lentils (Lens culinaris)
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The phytochemicals and antioxidant activity in lipophilic and hydrophilic (extractable and bound) fractions of lentils before and after domestic cooking were investigated. The hydrophilic fractions in lentils contributed much more to the antioxidant activity than the lipophilic fraction. The phenolic content of lentils was mainly composed of extractable compounds. Significant changes (P < 0.05) in carotenoid, tocopherol, total phenolic, and condensed tannin contents of both extractable and bound phenolics fractions, as well as in antioxidant activities, were found in lentils before and after cooking. More specifically, cooking was found to favor the release of carotenoids and tocopherols and flavonols (kaempferol glycosides), but led to losses of flavanols (monomeric and condensed tannin). Whereas reduced flavanols and other phenolic compounds may have negatively affected the antioxidant activity, other components, especially the lipophilic antioxidants, were increased. The present study suggests that incorporation of cooked lentils into the diet will not cause significant loss to the phytochemical antioxidants and thus will retain the potential health benefits.
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