European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 245, Issue 1, pp 191–198 | Cite as

Grass pea (Lathyrus sativus) flour: microstructure, physico-chemical properties and in vitro digestion

  • A. Romano
  • C. V. L. Giosafatto
  • A. Al-Asmar
  • P. Masi
  • M. Aponte
  • L. Mariniello
Original Paper


Flour from grass pea, a legume that is adapted to arid conditions containing high levels of proteins, was characterized according to microstructure, some functional properties and digestibility. Microstructural results showed that grass pea starch granules appeared surrounded by an integral matrix with heterogeneous sizes from 6 to 30 µm. Thermal properties displayed a single endothermic transition corresponding to starch gelatinization transition. The digestibility of starch was 79.6%, expressed as the ratio of non-resistant starch to the total amount of resistant and non-resistant starch. The flour was also relatively rich in phenolic substances possessing antioxidant properties as demonstrated by the 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical method. Adult and elderly in vitro digestion demonstrated that proteins were easily digested. These findings suggest that this legume is suitable for feeding of a large spectrum of population, being endowed with attractive properties that make it potential enough as functional food.


Grass pea flour In vitro elderly digestion Microstructure Novel foods 



The authors thank Elisabetta Pucci and Maria Fenderico for their technical collaboration.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest


Compliance with ethics requirements

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CAISIAL-University of Naples FEDERICO IIPorticiItaly
  2. 2.DSC-University of Naples FEDERICO II, Complesso Universitario Monte Sant’AngeloNaplesItaly
  3. 3.Agricultural Department-University of Naples FEDERICO IIPorticiItaly
  4. 4.Analysis, Poison control and Calibration Center (APCC)An-Najah National UniversityNablusPalestine

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