Lentil (Lens culinaris M.) is a high-value grain used traditionally as a minimally processed product. Lentil crops are well-suited to Mediterranean-type climates with mild winters and hot dry summers which results in the production of high-value grain. However, extreme weather conditions, such as frost, can impact the lentil seed, for example, a darkened seed color and distorted seed shape resulting in a downgrade of its market value. The quality parameters of lentil when milled as wholemeal flour is not reliant on visual or physical seed traits such as seed size and color which impact on the market value in traditional market specifications. Instead, quality parameters such as those applied in the assessment of wheat, these include flour yield and color would be appropriate parameters to determine the value of lentil flour. It is proposed that flour, even from down-graded lentil could be supplemented with wheat flour and used to enhance the quality profile of baked products including breads, pastas, and cookies.Findings
This study investigated the use of premium and frost-damaged lentil flour in cookie making. Overall cookies made from wheat–lentil composite blends resulted in flatter and wider cookies that were darker than the cookies made from 100% wheat flour. Cookies made by incorporating lentil and wheat flour resulted in a significant increase in total protein, insoluble fiber, and oligosaccharides (p < .05). In addition, the phenolic acids kaempferol and procyanidin were detected in cookies made using wheat–lentil contributing to an increase in antioxidant activity (p < .05). These phenolic acids were not detected in cookies made from 100% wheat flour. Our results show that using concentrations of up to 25% lentil flour resulted in cookies that had expectable hardness and color characteristics in comparison with a 100% wheat biscuit.Conclusion
This research showed that the nutritional value and functional properties of cookies can be significantly enhanced by using either premium or down-graded lentil and the quality of the cookies was not impacted by the market-grade of the raw material.Significance and novelty
Investigations into the use of pulse flours such as lentil in novel food products including pasta and snack foods are gaining popularity particularly by the health-conscious consumer. The visual appearance of lentil is not critical when utilized in such products. Lentil that has been visually or physically affected by adverse weather conditions, but its nutritional and functional values have not been compromised may prove a viable inclusion in the creation of highly nutritious food alternatives. The use of down-graded lentil as flour in novel food production could ultimately add value to pulse grain affected by adverse environmental conditions.