Special Issue "Legumes as Food Ingredient: Characterization, Processing, and Applications"

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Engineering and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 February 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Alfonso Clemente
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Department of Physiology and Biochemistry of the Animal Nutrition, Estacion Experimental del Zaidin, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Granada, Spain
Interests: legumes; sustainability; protein products; nutrition; bioeconomy; food safety
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Jose C. Jimenez-Lopez
Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology of Plants, Estacion Experimental del Zaidin, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Granada, Spain
Interests: plant reproductive development; seed biology; seed development and germination; legumes; PULSE; Lupinus species; functional foods; seed allergen proteins; food allergy; crop proteins; structure-functional assessment
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Grain legumes like chickpeas, lentils, lupins, peas, cowpeas, and beans, among others, are well-recognized as sources of proteins, starch, fibre, vitamins, and minerals for the human diet, being an essential food crop for people around the globe. They are major ingredients in the Mediteranean diet, playing a vital role in developing countries. Recent advances have been made in unravelling the beneficial effects of legumes beyond meeting basic nutrient requirements. Thus, there is a growing body of scientific evidences regarding the health benefits of some of their bioactive components in inflammatory-related diseases, cardiovascular diseases (CVD), obesity and weight management, type-2 diabetes, and cancer. However, the underlying mechanisms have not been fully clarified.

This Special issue is looking for up-to-date and innovative contributions of scientists working in the following:

    a) The nutritional quality and functional properties of legumes and their components;
    b) Seed nutraceuticals compounds and their molecular mechanisms for human health improvement;
    c) The caracterization of novel legume varieties with enhanced nutritional properties;
    d) Global food security;
    e) The potential benefits of legume compsumption or their bioactive components in human health;
    f) The impact of legume processing such as soaking, dehulling, boiling, autoclaving, microwave cooking, germination, and fermentation in their nutritional and anti-nutritional (i.e., food allergy) properties;
    g) The development of novel legume-derived products adapted to consumer preference;
    h) Other related topics, in order to provide an updated and global vision of the importance of legumes in human nutrition.

Dr. Alfonso Clemente
Dr. Jose Carlos Jimenez-Lopez
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Foods is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Legumes
  • Pulses
  • Functional foods
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Nutritional properties
  • Health benefits
  • Chronic diseases
  • Processing
  • Novel legume-derived products

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Introduction to the Special Issue: Legumes as Food Ingredient: Characterization, Processing, and Applications
Foods 2020, 9(11), 1525; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9111525 - 23 Oct 2020
Abstract
Legumes are major ingredients in the Mediterranean diet, playing an essential role in developing countries. Grain legumes, such as lentil, chickpea, pea, lupin and beans, among others, are recognized as good sources of proteins, starch, fiber, vitamins and minerals for human nutrition, being [...] Read more.
Legumes are major ingredients in the Mediterranean diet, playing an essential role in developing countries. Grain legumes, such as lentil, chickpea, pea, lupin and beans, among others, are recognized as good sources of proteins, starch, fiber, vitamins and minerals for human nutrition, being an essential food crop for people worldwide. Due to their nutritional and techno-functional properties, legumes are widely used by the food industry as ingredients in a wide range of products for general and specific groups of the population, including vegetarians, diabetics or celiac patients. The Special Issue “Legumes as Food Ingredients: Characterization, Processing, and Applications” covers key aspects regarding the nutritional quality of legume flours and their derived products, as well as the health benefits of some of their bioactive components. The amounts of antinutritional components, such as certain allergens that might pose risks to sensitized consumers, are reported to be reduced by processing. Several pretreatments, including fermentation with lactic bacteria and yeasts, are used to improve the nutritional and sensory profile of the legume-derived products, increasing their acceptance by consumers. Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Prebiotic Properties of Non-Fructosylated α-Galactooligosaccharides from PEA (Pisum sativum L.) Using Infant Fecal Slurries
Foods 2020, 9(7), 921; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9070921 - 13 Jul 2020
Abstract
The interest for naturally-occurring oligosaccharides from plant origin having prebiotic properties is growing, with special focus being paid to supplemented products for infants. Currently, non-fructosylated α-galactooligosaccharides (α-GOS) from peas have peaked interest as a result of their prebiotic activity in adults and their [...] Read more.
The interest for naturally-occurring oligosaccharides from plant origin having prebiotic properties is growing, with special focus being paid to supplemented products for infants. Currently, non-fructosylated α-galactooligosaccharides (α-GOS) from peas have peaked interest as a result of their prebiotic activity in adults and their mitigated side-effects on gas production from colonic bacterial fermentation. In this study, commercially available non-fructosylated α-GOS from peas and β-galactooligosaccharides (β-GOS) derived from lactose were fermented using fecal slurries from children aged 11 to 24 months old during 6 and 24 h. The modulatory effect of both GOS on different bacterial groups and bifidobacteria species was assessed; non-fructosylated α-GOS consumption was monitored throughout the fermentation process and the amounts of lactic acid and short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) generated were analyzed. Non-fructosylated α-GOS, composed mainly of manninotriose and verbascotetraose and small amounts of melibiose, were fully metabolized and presented remarkable bifidogenic activity, similar to that obtained with β-GOS. Furthermore, non-fructosylated α-GOS selectively caused an increase on the population of Bifidobacterium longum subsp. longum and Bifidobacterium catenulatum/pseudo-catenulatum. In conclusion, non-fructosylated α-GOS could be used as potential ingredient in infant formula supplemented with prebiotic oligosaccharides. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Various Soybean Allergen Levels in Genetically and Non-Genetically Modified Soybeans
Foods 2020, 9(4), 522; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040522 - 21 Apr 2020
Abstract
Several analyses of allergen levels have been reported as part of the safety assessment of genetically modified (GM) soybean; however, few comprehensive analyses have included new allergens. Thus, in this study the levels of eight major soybean allergens, including Gly m 7 (a [...] Read more.
Several analyses of allergen levels have been reported as part of the safety assessment of genetically modified (GM) soybean; however, few comprehensive analyses have included new allergens. Thus, in this study the levels of eight major soybean allergens, including Gly m 7 (a newly reported soybean allergen), were semi-quantitatively detected in six GM soybeans and six non-GM soybeans using antigen-immobilized ELISA and immunoblotting. We also analyzed the IgE-reactivity to these soybeans through immunoblotting, using sera from three soybean-allergic patients. The results showed that there were no significant differences in the levels of the major soybean allergens in the GM and non-GM soybeans. Moreover, there were no significant differences in the serum IgE-reactive protein profiles of the patients, as analyzed using immunoblotting. These results indicate that, in general, CP4-EPSPS-transfected GM soybeans are not more allergenic than non-GM soybeans. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sensory Improvement of a Pea Protein-Based Product Using Microbial Co-Cultures of Lactic Acid Bacteria and Yeasts
Foods 2020, 9(3), 349; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9030349 - 17 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Consumer demands for plant-based products have increased in recent years. However, their consumption is still limited due to the presence of off-flavor compounds, primarily beany and green notes, which are mainly associated with the presence of aldehydes, ketones, furans, and alcohols. To overcome [...] Read more.
Consumer demands for plant-based products have increased in recent years. However, their consumption is still limited due to the presence of off-flavor compounds, primarily beany and green notes, which are mainly associated with the presence of aldehydes, ketones, furans, and alcohols. To overcome this problem, fermentation is used as a lever to reduce off-flavors. A starter culture of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) was tested in a 4% pea protein solution with one of the following yeasts: Kluyveromyces lactis, Kluyveromyces marxianus, or Torulaspora delbrueckii. The fermented samples were evaluated by a sensory panel. Non-fermented and fermented matrices were analyzed by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry to identify and quantify the volatile compounds. The sensory evaluation showed a significant reduction in the green/leguminous attributes of pea proteins and the generation of new descriptors in the presence of yeasts. Compared to the non-fermented matrix, fermentations with LAB or LAB and yeasts led to the degradation of many off-flavor compounds. Moreover, the presence of yeasts triggered the generation of esters. Thus, fermentation by a co-culture of LAB and yeasts can be used as a powerful tool for the improvement of the sensory perception of a pea protein-based product. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Technofunctional and Sensory Properties of Fermented Lupin Protein Isolates
Foods 2019, 8(12), 678; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8120678 - 13 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Lupin protein isolate was fermented with eight different microorganisms to evaluate the influence on sensory profile, techno-functional properties and protein integrity. All investigated microorganisms were able to grow in lupin protein isolate. The results showed that the foaming activity in the range of [...] Read more.
Lupin protein isolate was fermented with eight different microorganisms to evaluate the influence on sensory profile, techno-functional properties and protein integrity. All investigated microorganisms were able to grow in lupin protein isolate. The results showed that the foaming activity in the range of 1646–1703% and the emulsifying capacity in the range of 347–595 mL of the fermented lupin protein isolates were similar to those of the unfermented ones. Protein solubility at pH 4 showed no significant changes compared to unfermented lupin protein isolate, whereas the solubility at pH 7 decreased significantly from 63.59% for lupin protein isolate to solubilities lower than 42.35% for fermented lupin protein isolate. Fermentation with all microorganisms showed the tendency to decrease bitterness from 2.3 for lupin protein isolate (LPI) to 1.0–2.0 for the fermented ones. The most promising microorganisms for the improvement of the sensory properties of lupin protein isolates were Lactobacillus brevis as it reduced the intensity of characteristic aroma impression (pea-like, green bell pepper-like) from 4.5 to 1.0. The SDS-PAGE results showed the fermentation treatment appeared not to be sufficiently effective to destruct the protein integrity and thus, deplete the allergen potential of lupin proteins. Fermentation allows the development of food ingredients with good functional properties in foam formation and emulsifying capacity, with a well-balanced aroma and taste profile. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Comprehensive Characterisation of Volatile and Fatty Acid Profiles of Legume Seeds
Foods 2019, 8(12), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8120651 - 06 Dec 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Legumes are rich in unsaturated fatty acids, which make them susceptible to (non) enzymatic oxidations leading to undesirable odour formation. This study aimed to characterise the volatile and fatty acid profiles of eleven types of legumes using headspace solid-phase microextraction gas chromatography–mass spectrometry [...] Read more.
Legumes are rich in unsaturated fatty acids, which make them susceptible to (non) enzymatic oxidations leading to undesirable odour formation. This study aimed to characterise the volatile and fatty acid profiles of eleven types of legumes using headspace solid-phase microextraction gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (HS-SPME-GC-MS) and GC coupled with a flame ionisation detector (GC-FID), respectively. Volatile aldehydes, alcohols, ketones, esters, terpenes and hydrocarbons were the chemical groups identified across all the legumes. The lipids comprised palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic and α-linolenic acids, with unsaturated fatty acids comprising at least 66.1% to 85.3% of the total lipids for the legumes studied. Multivariate data analysis was used to compare volatile and fatty acid profiles between legumes, which allow discriminant compounds pertinent to specific legumes to be identified. Results showed that soybean, chickpea and lentil had distinct volatile and fatty acid profiles, with discriminating volatiles including lactone, ester and ketone, respectively. While all three Phaseolus cultivars shared similar volatile profiles, 3-methyl-1-butanol was found to be the only volatile differentiating them against the other eight legumes. Overall, this is the first time a multivariate data analysis has been used to characterise the volatile and fatty acid profiles across different legume seeds, while also identifying discriminating compounds specific for certain legume species. Such information can contribute to the creation of legume-based ingredients with specific volatile characteristics while reducing undesirable odours, or potentially inform relevant breeding programs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Tailoring Physical and Sensory Properties of Tofu by the Addition of Jet-Milled, Superfine, Defatted Soybean Flour
Foods 2019, 8(12), 617; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8120617 - 25 Nov 2019
Abstract
The use of defatted soybean flour (DSF) in food as a source of dietary fiber has been limited due to its rough texture and bitter taste. Our previous work indicates that superfine DSF prepared by jet milling could overcome these problems, as it [...] Read more.
The use of defatted soybean flour (DSF) in food as a source of dietary fiber has been limited due to its rough texture and bitter taste. Our previous work indicates that superfine DSF prepared by jet milling could overcome these problems, as it positively affected physical and sensory properties. Therefore, differently sized DSFs were incorporated in tofu, and their impacts on physical and sensory properties were investigated in this study. Coarse DSF (Dv50 = 341.0 µm), fine DSF (Dv50 = 105.3 µm), and superfine DSF (Dv50 = 5.1 µm) were prepared by conventional sifting and jet milling. Tofu was made with a 5% addition of differently sized DSFs and without DSF (control tofu). The quality of tofu was evaluated by scanning electron microscopy, color measurement, texture profile analysis, and quantitative descriptive analysis. The tofu made with coarse and fine DSF showed negative changes in its physical and organoleptic qualities, such as reduced yields, a less pure color, a harder texture, and a rougher mouthfeel. However, the tofu made with superfine DSF showed only minimal changes in its qualities compared to the control. Therefore, superfine DSF is a promising fiber supplement that does not change the physical and sensory properties in the making of high-quality tofu. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Narrow-Leafed Lupin Main Allergen β-Conglutin (Lup an 1) Detection and Quantification Assessment in Natural and Processed Foods
Foods 2019, 8(10), 513; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8100513 - 18 Oct 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The increasing prevalence of lupin allergy as a consequence to the functional characteristics of a growing number of sweet lupin-derived foods consumption makes the imperious necessity to develop analytical tools for the detection of allergen proteins in foodstuffs. The current study developed a [...] Read more.
The increasing prevalence of lupin allergy as a consequence to the functional characteristics of a growing number of sweet lupin-derived foods consumption makes the imperious necessity to develop analytical tools for the detection of allergen proteins in foodstuffs. The current study developed a new highly specific, sensitive and accurate ELISA method to detect, identify and quantify the lupin main allergen β-conglutin (Lup an 1) protein in natural and processed food. The implementation of accurate standards made with recombinant conglutin β1, and an anti-Lup an 1 antibody made from a synthetic peptide commonly shared among β-conglutin isoforms from sweet lupin species was able to detect up to 8.1250 ± 0.1701 ng (0.0406 ± 0.0009 ppm) of Lup an 1. This identified even lupin traces present in food samples which might elicit allergic reactions in sensitized consumers, such as β-conglutin proteins detection and quantification in processed (roasted, fermented, boiled, cooked, pickled, toasted, pasteurized) food, while avoiding cross-reactivity (false positive) with other legumes as peanut, chickpea, lentils, faba bean, and cereals. This study demonstrated that this new ELISA method constitutes a highly sensitive and reliable molecular tool able to detect, identify and quantify Lup an 1. This contributes to a more efficient management of allergens by the food industry, the regulatory agencies and clinicians, thus helping to keep the health safety of the consumers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Overall Nutritional and Sensory Profile of Different Species of Australian Wattle Seeds (Acacia spp.): Potential Food Sources in the Arid and Semi-Arid Regions
Foods 2019, 8(10), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8100482 - 11 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Wattle seed (Acacia spp.) is a well-known staple food within indigenous communities in Australia. A detailed investigation of the overall nutritional and sensory profile of four abundant and underutilized Acacia species—A. coriacea, A. cowleana, A. retinodes and A. sophorae [...] Read more.
Wattle seed (Acacia spp.) is a well-known staple food within indigenous communities in Australia. A detailed investigation of the overall nutritional and sensory profile of four abundant and underutilized Acacia species—A. coriacea, A. cowleana, A. retinodes and A. sophorae—were performed. Additionally, molecular weight of protein extracts from the wattle seeds (WS) was determined. The seeds are rich in protein (23–27%) and dietary fibre (33–41%). Relatively high fat content was found in A. cowleana (19.3%), A. sophorae (14.8%) and A. retinodes (16.4%) with oleic acid being the predominant fatty acid. The seeds contained high amounts of essential amino acids (histidine, lysine, valine, isoleucine and leucine). A. coriacea is rich in iron (43 mg/kg), potassium (10 g/kg) and magnesium (1.7 g/kg). Pentose (xylose/arabinose), glucose, galactose and galacturonic acids were the major sugars found in the four species. Raw seeds from A. sophorae, A. retinodes and A. coriacea have the highest protein molecular weight, between 50–90 kDa, 80 kDa and 50–55 kDa, respectively. There was variation in the sensory profile of the WS species. This study showed that the four WS species have good nutritional value and could be included in human diet or used in food formulations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Lactic Acid Fermentation as a Pre-Treatment Process for Faba Bean Flour and Its Effect on Textural, Structural and Nutritional Properties of Protein-Enriched Gluten-Free Faba Bean Breads
Foods 2019, 8(10), 431; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8100431 - 21 Sep 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Lactic acid fermentation could be used as a potential modification tool for faba bean flour to enable its incorporation in boosting the nutritional profile of gluten-free breads. Gluten-free breads made with fermented or unfermented faba bean flours were compared with commercial soy flour. [...] Read more.
Lactic acid fermentation could be used as a potential modification tool for faba bean flour to enable its incorporation in boosting the nutritional profile of gluten-free breads. Gluten-free breads made with fermented or unfermented faba bean flours were compared with commercial soy flour. The amounts of faba- and soy-bean flours were adjusted to obtain the same protein content in bread (16%). Both fermented and unfermented faba bean flour resulted in larger bread volume (2.1 mL/g and 2.4 mL/g, respectively) compared to bread made with soybean flour (1.5 mL/g). Breads made with unfermented and fermented faba flour had higher porosity (82% and 72%, respectively) than bread with soy flour (61%). The faba breads also were softer than the soy bread. Fermentation of faba flour prior to bread making significantly increased crumb hardness (584 vs. 817 g). Fermentation increased in vitro protein digestibility (72.3% vs. 64.8%). Essential Amino Acid and Biological Value indexes were significantly higher for breads containing fermented faba flour compared to breads made with unfermented faba and soy flour. The Protein Efficiency Ratio and Nutritional Index increased by fermentation from 33 to 36 and 1.6 to 2.7, respectively. Pre-fermentation of faba bean flour improved the nutritional properties of high-protein, gluten-free faba bread. A sensory panel indicated that fermentation did not affect the crumbliness, evenness of pore size and springiness of breadcrumb. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Seed Protein of Lentils: Current Status, Progress, and Food Applications
Foods 2019, 8(9), 391; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8090391 - 04 Sep 2019
Cited by 9
Abstract
Grain legumes are widely recognized as staple sources of dietary protein worldwide. Lentil seeds are an excellent source of plant-based proteins and represent a viable alternative to animal and soybean proteins for food processing formulations. Lentil proteins provide not only dietary amino acids [...] Read more.
Grain legumes are widely recognized as staple sources of dietary protein worldwide. Lentil seeds are an excellent source of plant-based proteins and represent a viable alternative to animal and soybean proteins for food processing formulations. Lentil proteins provide not only dietary amino acids but are also a source of bioactive peptides that provide health benefits. This review focuses on the current knowledge of seed protein, extraction and isolation methods, bioactive peptides, and food applications of lentil protein. Lentil is the most rapidly expanding crop for direct human consumption, and has potential for greater impact as a protein source for food processing applications. Improvements in lentil protein quality, amino acid composition, and processing fractions will enhance the nutritional quality of this rapidly expanding crop globally. Full article
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