Common Names: Chick pea, Chick-pea, Chickpea, Garbanzo Bean, Hummus, Bengal Gram
Chickpea is a leguminous plant which produces hazelnut-shaped, nutty flavoured seeds. Chickpea is an important source of proteins, carbohydrates, B-group vitamins, and certain minerals, particularly to the populations of developing nations. India contributes over 75% of the chickpea production in the world where it is mostly consumed as dhal, whole seeds, and several types of traditional, fermented, deep fried, sweetened, and puffed products. They are a staple food in the Middle East. Chickpeas are also used extensively in the Mediterranean, especially in Spain, and India, and their use has spread along with cuisines from these places. In contrast to many western countries, chickpea preparations are consumed in large quantities in India.
The original habitat is obscure, but may have been southwestern Asia. Chick pea is grown in tropical, sub-tropical and temperate regions. The Chick pea is valued for its nutritive seeds with their high protein content, 25.3-28.9 % after dehulling. Slightly larger than the average pea, these round, irregular-shaped, buff-colored legumes have a firm texture and mild, nutlike flavor.
The Chick pea is unknown in the wild, though there are some related wild species. Chickpeas are roasted whole, ground for cooking or milled into grain flour. They are available canned, dried and sometimes fresh. Chick pea seeds are eaten fresh as green vegetables; parched, fried, roasted, and boiled; and as a snack food, sweet and condiment. Seeds are ground and the flour can be used as soup, as dhal (which has a number of uses as an ingredient), and to make hummus and bread. Requires soaking before cooking. Sprouted seeds are eaten as a vegetable or added to salads. Young shoots and green pods are eaten like spinach (but may be toxic: see under Other reactions). A small proportion of Chick pea is used to produce fermented food. The roasted seed or root can be used as a coffee substitute. Acid exudate from the seedpod can be eaten as a type of vinegar.
The acid exudate is astringent. It has been used in the treatment of a number of ailments including diarrhea.
Parts of the plant can serve as animal feed, and can be made into adhesive, dye, and starch.
Hummus (see) is produced from this bean.
Immunoblot analysis showed that 70, 64, 35, and 26 kD proteins were major allergens. (Patil 2001 ref.4484 0) (Niphadkar 1992 ref.270 31)
The allergens appear to be heat stable. (Martin 1992 ref.543 73)
Infection was shown to initiate the formation of a thaumatin-like protein in chickpea leaves. Whether this protein occurs in the seed of the plant or whether this protein has allergenic potential has not been determined yet. (Hanselle 2001 ref.7179 3)
A beta-1,3-glucanase and two chitinases have been isolated from Chickpea. One of the chitinases, a 32 kDa protein, was a class I chitinase and the second, a 28 kDa protein, showed homology to class III chitinases. (Vogelsang 1993 ref.7180 5) The allergenic relevance of these proteins has not yet been determined.
Multiple IgE binding allergens were detected in both raw and boiled chickpea extracts in the molecular weight range of 10-106 kD of which the majority are heat-stable. (Martinez 2000 ref.3715 2)
A trypsin and chymotrypsin inhibitor has been isolated in Chickpea. (Smirnoff 1976 ref7183 8)
IGE AND IMMUNE:
Allergic reactions. Asthma. Angioedema. Wheezing. Anaphylaxis. Cough. Dyspnoea. Rhinitis.
Chickpea is an important source of allergen in India that can cause IgE-mediated hypersensitivity reactions ranging from rhinitis to anaphylaxis. Of 1,400 patients screened for chickpea allergy, 142 were food allergy positive on history, of which 59 implicated chickpeas. Thirty one were DBPCFC-positive for chickpea. (Niphadkar 1992 ref.270 31)
Urticaria, angioedema, abdominal symptoms, rhinoconjunctivitis and/or asthma following ingestion or inhalation of vapours from cooked legumes (lentil, bean or chick-pea). Lentil was found to induce the most severe reactions. (Carrillo 1986 ref.2349 5)
An 8-year-old girl suffered with contact urticaria from raw chickpeas and an anaphylactic reaction after ingestion of cooked chickpeas. (Kalogeromitros 1996 ref.824 48)
This study demonstrated a 20% reduction in lung function after inhalation of aerosolised fish, buckwheat and chick pea. (Golder 2000 ref.3544 8)
Anaphylaxis in an 8 year old girl who presented with wheezing and urticaria 1 hour after ingesting chickpea. She had a history of wheezing following inhalation of chickpea flour or its vapours while being cooked. External application of chickpea paste had resulted in urticaria. (Niphadka 1997 ref.4121 3)
This study from India reports that chickpea is an important source of allergen that can cause IgE-mediated hypersensitivity reactions ranging from rhinitis to anaphylaxis. The ELISA results did not correlate well with the DBPCFC results; however, the skin test results correlated with DBPCFC in 75% of patients. (Patil 2001 ref.4484 0)
12 children with an IgE-mediated food allergy who developed asthma on inhalational exposure to food were identified. The implicated foods were fish, chickpea, milk, egg or buckwheat. Nine out of the 12 children consented to undergo a bronchial food challenge. Five challenges were positive with objective clinical features of asthma. Additionally, two children developed late-phase symptoms with a decrease in lung function. Positive reactions were seen with fish, chickpea and buckwheat. (Roberts 2002 ref.6660 1)
Sera of 29 children with a history of allergic reactions after ingestion of chick pea, and positive skin tests to this legume, were used to study the allergenic composition of raw and boiled chick pea extracts. There were no significant differences between specific IgE levels to the raw and boiled extracts. Patients with a current clinical allergy to chick pea were shown to have statistically higher specific IgE levels than tolerant patients and controls. (Martinez 2000 ref.3715 2)
This study reports the case of a 20-year-old man who experienced asthmatic attacks when exposed to the steam from cooking either chick pea or lentil. Type I hypersensitivity to the antigens in these legumes was demonstrated by means of immediate skin reactivity, histamine release tests, RAST and RAST inhibition. Specific bronchial challenges with the heated (75 degrees for 30 min) extracts of chick pea and lentil elicited isolated immediate responses. (Martin 1992 ref.543 43)
Asthma when exposed to vapours from cooking of some kinds of legumes (peas, chick-peas, beans, lentils). (Garcia 1995 ref.735 8)
Hemagglutinating activity was identified in the roots and vegetative tissues of Bengal gram using rabbit erythrocytes. The activity in the roots appears to be similar to that of the seeds in respect to their sugar inhibition property. (Nair 2000 ref.7375 3)
The foliage and seedpods contain oxalic acid and can irritate the skin. Oxalic acid can lock up certain nutrients in the diet, especially calcium, and therefore heavy use of foods that contain this substance can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Cooking will greatly reduce the oxalic acid content. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet, since the oxalic acid can aggravate their condition.
Ungerminated legume seeds (broad bean, chick pea and lupine) were found to contain biogenic amines. Tryptamine was the main biogenic amine detected, and its concentration considerably increased during the germination. beta-Phenylethylamine was detected in small amounts and its concentration slowly increased during germination. The concentration of tyramine showed a fluctuation pattern of changes during germination in all tested legumes. Heat treatment seems to have little effect on the concentration of biogenic amines in legume sprouts. (Shalaby 2000 ref.7438 1)
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Allergy Advisor - Zing Solutions
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