Peas, lentils and chickpeas are valuable dietary sources of vitamin A and vitamin E, and fatty acids. However, few studies have characterized commercially available Canadian varieties, as eaten. As such we determined fatty acid, tocopherol and carotenoid and antioxidant content ofcooked market varieties of yellow pea (n=3), lentil (n=3) and chickpea (n=4).
Following standardized cooking and freeze drying, lipophilic extracts of these pulses were analyzed via gas chromatography and HPLC, and assessed for antioxidant activity using the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH).The relationship between total tocopherol, total carotenoid and ?-3 (% total fat),and antioxidant activity was examined using Spearman rank correlation.
On dry weight basis, peas, lentils and chickpeas contained 1.8-2.1%, 1.6-1.8% and 7.6-8.4% lipids, respectively, of which 2.6-37.5% was ?-3. Total tocopherol ranged from 31.7±0.8 to 57.0±0.8 µg/g DW, represented primarily as ?-tocopherols (79.9 to 95.8% of total tocopherols). Total carotenoid content ranged from 4.0±0.4 to 20.0±2.9 µg/g DW. Lutein was the primary carotenoid (80.5-92.5%) followed by zeaxanthin (0.8-2.4%). Significant differences were detected among cultivars for DPPH; antioxidant activity was significantly correlated with total tocopherol content (r= 0.736, p = 0.020), but not total carotenoid content (r= 0.541, p= 0.114) or ?-3 (R2 = -0.559, p = 0.096).
These results provide information to guide formulation of pulse based functional foods, and confirm that when cooked Canadian pulses are valuable dietary sources of vitamins A, E, and fatty acids.