Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Committee Member

Dr. Dil Thavarajah, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Susan Duckett

Committee Member

Dr. Elliot Jesch

Committee Member

Dr. William Whiteside

Committee Member

Dr. Pushparajah Thavarajah


Lentil is a rich source of proteins, range of prebiotic carbohydrates including sugar alcohols (SA), raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFO), fructooligosaccharides (FOS), and resistant starch (RS), minerals, and vitamins. Research indicated that foods rich in prebiotics reduce obesity via modulating gut microbiota. The objectives of this thesis were 1) to determine the effects of lentil processing (dehulling, splitting, and cooking) on SA, RFO, FOS, and RS in three lentil market classes (red, green, and pardina), and 2) to determine the effects of lentil diet on rat body weight, percent body fat, plasma triglycerides (TGs) concentration, and change of fecal bacteria. Lentil dehulling and splitting decreased SA, and increased RFO and FOS concentrations. Concentration of SA, RFO, and FOS increased with cooling and reduced after reheating. RS concentration increased with cooling and reheating. For the rat study, lentil diet significantly reduced body weight, percent body fat, plasma TGs concentration within 6 weeks compared to the control diets. Abundance of fecal Firmicutes was relatively low, and abundance of Actinobacteria and Bacteriodetes were relatively high in rats fed with lentil diet than the control diets. In conclusion, processing, and cooking can change the levels of prebiotic carbohydrates however, regular consumption of lentil may tend to reduce obesity risk factors. Further human studies are warrant to determine the potential of lentil to reduce obesity risk.



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