Iron biofortification of lentils: Defining current production of high Fe lentils and development of enhanced nutritional quality

  • Lentils

Lead Investigator(s)

Dr. Raymond Glahn

Lead Investigator(s) Institution

USDA-ARS, Robert Holley Center for Agriculture and Health


To evaluate current lentil production in order to determine what percentage of lentils are already high in iron (Fe) concentration and to establish their bioavailability range. To establish the correlation between the in vitro bioavailability model and a poultry feeding trial for Fe bioavailability. To establish some of the fundamental information required to develop a breeding strategy to enhance Fe concentration and bioavailability of lentils.


This study confirmed that iron concentrations in Saskatchewan grown lentils can be high enough to be considered biofortified, particularly the dehulled lentils. Evidence suggests that tannins or other components of the seed coat reduce the bioavailability of iron. Efforts to map genes or genome regions which contribute most to high iron content have not succeeded to date, but are continuing.

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Project Status


Duration/Timeline of Project (Year to Year)

2011 - 2013