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Food Structure

Abstract

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to investigate the microstructure of five cultivars of lentil seeds (Lens culinaris). Lentil cot yledons contain sphericai starch granules surrounded by protein bodies similar to starch granules and protein bodies observed in cotyledons of other food legumes. Examination of the lentil seed coat in cross - section revealed outer palisade and inner parenchyma layers characteris tic of legumes. The subepidermal layer, however, is comprised of hourglass cells and is found primarily in the area surrounding the hilum and the entire lentil seed coat is thinner than the seed coat s of most other food legumes. The surface of the lentil seed coat is uneven and covered with distinctive conical papill ae. The unique structural char acteristics of the lentil seed coat may be parti ally responsible for the decreased incidence of hardness characteristic of lentils.

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