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Nutritional composition of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) as affected by microwave cooking and other traditional cooking methods

Alajaji, S.A., El-Adawy, T.A.
Subtropical plant science 2006 v.19 no.8 pp. 806-812
chickpeas, Cicer arietinum, dry beans, boiling, autoclaving, microwave cooking, cooking quality, food nutrient losses, nutrient content, antinutritional factors, lipid content, ash content, carbohydrate content, reducing sugars, sucrose, raffinose, stachyose, trypsin inhibitors, tannins, saponins, phytic acid, mineral content, vitamin B complex, essential amino acids, nutritive value
The effects of microwave cooking and other traditional cooking methods such as boiling and autoclaving on the nutritional composition and anti-nutritional factors of chickpeas (Cicer arietinum L.) were studied. Cooking treatments caused significant (P<0.05) decreases in fat, total ash, carbohydrate fractions (reducing sugars, sucrose, raffinose and stachyose, while verbascose was completely eliminated after cooking treatments), antinutritional factors (trypsin inhibitor, haemagglutinin activity, tannins, saponins and phytic acid), minerals and B-vitamins. Cooking treatments decreased the concentrations of lysine, tryptophan, total aromatic and sulfur-containing amino acids. However, cooked chickpeas were still higher in lysine, isoleucine and total aromatic amino acid contents than the FAO/WHO reference. The losses in B-vitamins and minerals in chickpeas cooked by microwaving were smaller than those cooked by boiling and autoclaving. In-vitro protein digestibility, protein efficiency ratio and essential amino acid index were improved by all cooking treatments. The chemical score and limiting amino acid of chickpeas subjected to the various cooking treatments varied considerably, depending on the type of treatment. Based on these results, microwave cooking is recommended for chickpea preparation, not only for improving nutritional quality (by reducing the level of antinutritional and flatulence factors as well as increasing in-vitro protein digestibility and retention rates of both B-vitamins and minerals), but also for reducing cooking time.