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Journal of the science of food and agriculture

Nutritive quality and protein production from grain legumes in a boreal climate.


PMID 25242296

Abstract

Boreal cropping systems are heavily focused on the production of small-grain cereals; to improve their resilience to climate change and to achieve food and feed security, diversification is needed. This study investigated the potential of faba bean, narrow-leafed lupin and lentil as protein crops in southern Finland, where faba bean is traditional but the other two are novel. Early cultivars of narrow-leafed lupin and lentil matured adequately. Protein concentration in faba bean was, at 32%, higher than the world average of 29%, while those of narrow-leafed lupin and lentil were close to their world averages. Protein yields decreased in the order faba bean > narrow-leafed lupin > lentil. Lipid content of faba bean and lentil was about 1.2% and that of narrow-leafed lupin about 5.5%, and fatty acid composition was largely oleic and linoleic in all three species. Both lentil and narrow-leafed lupin can be added to the range of feed and food crops produced at high latitudes in Europe. While faba bean produces the greatest protein yield and lysine concentration, the higher sulfur amino acid concentration in lupin, its oil content and its adaptation to acid, sandy soils not suitable for faba bean make it an attractive alternative.