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A global survey of low-molecular weight carbohydrates in lentils

Johnson, Casey R., Thavarajah, Dil, Thavarajah, Pushparajah, Fenlason, Abby, McGee, Rebecca, Kumar, Shiv, Combs, Gerald F.
Subtropical plant science 2015 v.44 pp. 178-185
breeding, consumer preferences, genotype, high performance liquid chromatography, kestose, lentils, mannitol, nutritive value, nystose, sorbitol, sucrose, surveys, temperature
Lentils contain a range of low-molecular weight carbohydrates (LMWC); however, those have not been well characterized. The objectives of this study were to (1) determine the concentrations of LMWC in lentils grown in six locations, and (2) identify any genetic and environmental effects on those LMWC concentrations. We analyzed 335 samples from 10 locations throughout 6 countries using high-performance liquid chromatography for sugar alcohols and various mono-, di-, and oligo-saccharides, including raffinose-family oligosaccharides (RFO) and fructooligosaccharides (FOS). Mean LMWC concentrations from each country varied widely: sorbitol, 1250–1824mg/100g; mannitol, 57–132mg/100g; galactinol, 46–89mg/100g; sucrose, 1750–2355mg/100g; raffinose+stachyose, 3314–4802mg/100g; verbascose, 1907–2453mg/100g; nystose, 8–450mg/100g; and kestose, from not detected to 244mg/100g. The concentrations of many of these LMWC varied with average temperature and precipitation of the region/country of origin. Significant genotype and genotype×location effects contributed to the variability in the concentrations of several LMWC, a feature that could prove useful in breeding lentils for novel agro-ecological environments and for consumer preference. The range of LMWC in lentil may contribute to its survival as a crop and its organoleptic and nutritional properties as a whole food.