|Infobox on Chickpeas|
|Example of Chickpeas|
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The chickpea (Cicer arietinum) is a legume of the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. Its seeds are high in protein. It is one of the earliest cultivated legumes.
Other common names for the species include garbanzo bean, ceci bean, chana, sanagalu, Gonzo Bean and Bengal gram.
There are two main kinds of chickpeas:
- Desi, which has small, darker seeds and a rough coat, cultivated mostly in the Indian subcontinent, Ethiopia, Mexico, and Iran.
- Kabuli, which has lighter coloured, larger seeds and a smoother coat, mainly grown in Southern Europe, Northern Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Chile.
Desi chickpeas have a markedly higher fiber content than Kabulis and hence a very low glycemic index which may make them suitable for people with blood sugar problems.
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) provide an excellent source of molybdenum. They are a very good source of folic acid, fiber, and manganese. They are also a good source of protein, as well as minerals such as iron, copper, zinc, and magnesium. As a good source of fiber, garbanzo beans can help lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar levels. This makes them a great food especially for diabetics and insulin-resistant individuals. When served with high quality grains, garbanzo beans are an extremely-low-fat, complete protein food.
Chickpeas (or Garbanzo beans) contain molybdenum which is a trace mineral that is needed for the body's mechanism to detoxify sulfite's. Sulfites are a preservative commonly found in wine, luncheon meats, and fresh salad in most salad bars. Sulfite-sensitive individuals who are deficient in molybdenum may experience headaches, a racing heartbeat, or confusion.
Garbanzo beans can cause a severe allergic reaction in those who are sensitive to them. They contain purines which can lead to excess accumulation of uric acid. Excess accumulation of uric acid may contribute to health problems, such as gout and kidney stones. Garbanzo beans also contain large amounts of oxalate. Individuals who have a history of oxalate-containing kidney stones should avoid over consuming them.
A foodstuff or animal feed usually shipped in bags.
Gram flour is a cereal flour made from ground chickpeas. It is also known as chickpea flour, garbanzo flour, or besan. Used in many countries, it is a staple ingredient in Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi cuisines. Gram flour can be made from either raw chickpeas or roasted chickpeas. The roasted variety is more flavourful, while the raw variety has a slightly bitter taste.
Gram flour contains a high proportion of carbohydrates but no gluten. Despite this, in comparison to other flours, it has a relatively high proportion of protein.
Shipment / Storage / Risk factors
Chickpeas should be transported within four to five months of harvesting; if stored for longer periods the product invariably becomes infested by weevil. Chickpeas are liable to sweat, but will not normally ferment.