The increasing demand for gluten-free food products from consumers has triggered food technologists to investigate a wide range of gluten-free ingredients from different sources to reproduce the unique network structure developed by gluten in a wheat-dough system. In recent times, the attention has been focused on novel application of legume flour or ingredients. The interest in this crop category is mainly attributed to their functional properties, such as solubility and water-binding capacity, which play an important role in gluten-free food formulation and processing. Their nutritional profile may also counteract the lack of nutrients commonly highlighted in commercial gluten-free bakery and pasta products, providing valuable sources of protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and complex carbohydrates, which in turn have a positive impact on human health. This review reports the main chemical and functional characteristics of legumes and their functional application in gluten-free products.
Keywords: chemical composition; dough; functional properties; gluten-free; legumes; texture.