Reading Time: < 1 minute The water lentil - or duckweed - is known as the world's smallest flowering plant (Photo: Parabel)
Reading Time: < 1 minute

Scientists say they have discovered a plant-based source of Vitamin B12 in water lentils.

Researchers at Parabel, a US-based producer of plant protein ingredients, say their water lentil (aka duckweed) crop contains approximately 750 percent of the US recommended daily value of the bioactive forms of Vitamin B12 (per 100 grams of dry plant).

According to Parabel, independent third-party laboratory testing has confirmed the crop (and the ingredient LENTEIN® plant protein) contain adenosylcobalamin, methylcobalamin, and hydroxocobalamin – the natural bioactive forms of Vitamin B 12.

This bioactive Vitamin B12 is not commonly found in plants. According to Parabel, the ‘most common supplemental form of Vitamin B12 is synthetic, which has had some consumers concerned’. 

‘Potentially revolutionary’

Dr. Matthew Van Ert, Parabel’s Chief Scientific Officer, said: “Parabel’s hydroponic systems represent a scalable and potentially revolutionary platform to produce highly nutritious plant foods that contain bioactive vitamin B12 forms.

“Along with partners, we will begin conducting bioavailability studies to determine the effectiveness of water lentils as a natural, plant-based solution to address vitamin B12 deficiencies.”

‘Exploding plant-based movement’

“I have reviewed the testing, and I feel confident that the Parabel team has identified bioactive Vitamin B12 in their products. This could be a game-changing event for the plant-based food community as it allows one to consume bioactive, natural, whole-food plant-sourced B12,” plant-based bodybuilder Geoff Palmer added.

“In addition to Vitamin B12, the water lentil has been referred to as the world’s most complete food source as a result of the high levels and quality of protein, vitamins, and minerals in the plant. 

“The rapidly growing water lentil crop can double its biomass in a matter of days, which leads to high yields and a scalable option for the exploding plant-based movement.”

Maria Chiorando

Maria is a news and features writer for Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. She was previously the editor of Plant Based News for over 3 years.