Lentil (Lens culinaris L.), often known as an ancient crop for modern times, is a nutritious food legume. Its seed has relatively higher contents of protein, carbohydrate and calories compared to other legumes. Because of its high average protein content and fast cooking characteristics, this important pulse crop is predominantly grown and consumed in South Asia, West Asia, North Africa and East Africa.

Despite the nutritional significance of lentil, over two billion people across the developing world su­ffer from micronutrient malnutrition – iron and zinc deficiencies in particular – that lead to anemia, impaired physical and mental growth, and decreased learning capacity. Women and children are the worst affected.