Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2007
Publication Date: 3/31/2007
Citation: Wood, J.A., Grusak, M.A. 2007. Nutritional value of chickpea. In: Yadav, S.S., Redden, R.J., Chen, W., Sharma, B., editors. Chickpea Breeding and Management. Oxfordshire, UK: CAB International. p. 101-142. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Nutrition, via food, is a necessity of human life. Humans must obtain the appropriate types of nutrients from the diet, in varying amounts throughout the lifecycle, to adequately sustain life. Food provides energy, essential macro- and micronutrients required for growth, tissue maintenance and the regulation of metabolism and normal physiological functions. Besides these essential nutrients, foods of plant origin supply various non-nutritive phytochemicals that promote good health and reduce the incidence of many chronic diseases. The World Health Organisation recognises the importance of plant foods in the diet, recommending >400 g/day consumption of fruits and vegetables, not including tubers. Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) and other pulse crops are staple foods in many countries and play an enhanced role in the diets of vegetarians around the world. Pulses are a primary source of nourishment and, when combined with cereals, provide a nutritionally balanced amino acid composition with a ratio nearing the ideal for humans. Frequent consumption of pulses is now recommended by most health organisations. Chickpea is a good source of energy, protein, minerals, vitamins, fiber, and a mix of other potentially health-beneficial phytochemicals. The nutritional value of chickpea has been documented in numerous publications; however there are few reviews that compare the nutrition of desi and kabuli chickpea seeds, their dhal/flour, or the use of chickpea as a green vegetable. In this chapter these topics will be covered, as well as the health benefits, and the effect of common processing techniques on the nutritional value of chickpea.