Macrotyloma uniflorum: an underutilized pulse crop as a sustainable plant-based protein
The demand of consumers for plant-based protein is high and is anticipated to increase in future due to various underlying health benefits. Moreover, the production of high-quality animal protein globally results in a challenging situation for the sustainability of the environment. Contemporary, to find new alternate protein sources, underutilized legumes are given more attention to meet the ever-increasing requirement for vegetable protein. One of the indigenous underutilized legumes is Horsegram (Macrotyloma uniflorum) (HG), having superior nutritional quality with better potency to adapt to rough environmental conditions. HG is considered a wholesome food as it provides 23% protein, less than 1% of fat and 60% of carbohydrate. However, due to the presence of anti-nutritional factors such as lectins, trypsin inhibitors, phytic acid; the absorption and bioavailability of nutrients fall away. Optimal utilization of the nutrients can be achieved by conventional processing methods which increases the acceptability and nutritional quality of HG. Additionally, it provides several bioactive components in minimal quantities which has substantial metabolic and/or physiological effects. Therefore, HG can be used as an underutilized sustainable protein source in the food industry for manufacturing plant-protein based functional food.
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