Colored Chickpeas: The Next Functional Food

Newswise — Colored chickpeas have significantly higher antioxidant qualities than the regular cream and beige color varieties, according to a new study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists.

Known to be high protein, chickpeas are the second most important pulses in the world with crops grown in more than 37 countries. Legumes also offer health-benefiting antioxidants, including polyphenols and flavonoids, which positions them as a functional food.

Researchers from the Volcani Center in Israel looked at 17 lines of chickpeas ranging from black, red, brown, green, rubiginous, gray, yellow, and beige. The chickpeas were separated into seed parts and ground into a fine power for analysis. Results indicated that colored chickpeas contained up to 13 times more polyphenols , up to 11 times more flavonoids and up to 31 times more antioxidant activity than beige chickpeas.

“Darkness, yellowness, and high color intensity chickpeas contained more antioxidants,” according to lead researcher Dr. Shmuel Galili. “Given the functional food attributes of chickpeas, they might contribute significantly to the management of degenerative diseases.”

About IFT
The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is a nonprofit scientific society. Our individual members are professionals engaged in food science, food technology, and related professions in industry, academia, and government. IFT’s mission is to advance the science of food, and our long-range vision is to ensure a safe and abundant food supply, contributing to healthier people everywhere.

For more than 70 years, the IFT has been unlocking the potential of the food science community by creating a dynamic global forum where members from more than 100 countries can share, learn, and grow. We champion the use of sound science across the food value chain through the exchange of knowledge, by providing education, and by furthering the advancement of the profession. IFT has offices in Chicago, Illinois, and Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit

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