Lentils are classified into two groups by seed size: Chilean or large-seeded and Persian or small-seeded. Cotyledon color varies: yellow, red or green. The two main market classes identified by color are green and red Lentils. Green Lentils tend to be marketed whole while red Lentils are marketed as whole seed or in split form. Lentils are used almost exclusively for human consumption as a protein source in soups, stews and vegetarian dishes.
Lentils are high in protein, ranging from 22 percent to 35 percent. Lentils are used extensively in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Lentils also can be used for livestock feed; however, only small amounts of low-grade Lentils or large volumes of low-quality Lentils resulting from occasional weatherrelated production problems are used in livestock rations. Normally, Lentils, unlike field peas, are neither grown for nor used to feed livestock.