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Characterization of antioxdant activity and protein functionality in some legume cultivars grown in Turkey
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Turkish chickpeas (4 cultivars) and lentils (6 cultivars) show similar total phenolic contents and free radical scavenging capacities in aqueous extracts ranging between 2869 and 4312 mg gallic acid equivalents/kg legume and 24.42 and 38.20 mmol Trolox equivalents/kg legume, respectively. However, the free radical scavenging capacity of lentil and chickpea protein extracts, range between 110 and 185 mmol Trolox/kg protein and 58 and 144 mmol Trolox/kg protein, respectively, clearly showed the higher free radical scavenging capacity of lentil proteins than chickpea proteins.Protein extracts of chickpeas and lentils showed considerable emulsifying and foaming capacities in almost at the same range, but emulsions and foams formed by chickpea proteins are more stable than those of lentil proteins. The lentil protein extracts are highly soluble and showed poor water absorption and gelling characteristics. In contrast, chickpea protein extracts showed moderate water absorption and gelling capacity.Chickpea protein extracts are also good oil absorbers with almost 1.5 to 2 fold better oil adsorption capacity than lentil protein extracts. Thus, chickpea proteins are suggested as soy and whey protein alternatives for functional proteins used in the food, drug and cosmetics industries. Considering functional properties of proteins for different cultivars, the outstanding Turkish chickpea cultivars are Gökçe and Cevdetbey, while the outstanding Turkish lentil cultivar is Alidayı. Variations in the functional properties of protein suggest the diversity of genes in chickpeas and lentils responsible for these properties. Thus, this study showed the possibility of improving functional properties of chickpeas and lentils by breeding programs.