Hypocholesterolaemic and antioxidant activities of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) protein hydrolysates



BACKGROUND: Some dietary proteins possess biological properties which make them potential ingredients of functional or health-promoting foods. Many of these properties are attributed to bioactive peptides that can be released by controlled hydrolysis using exogenous proteases. The aim of this work was to test the improvement of hypocholesterolaemic and antioxidant activities of chickpea protein isolate by means of hydrolysis with alcalase and flavourzyme.

RESULTS: All hydrolysates tested exhibited better hypocholesterolaemic activity when compared with chickpea protein isolate. The highest cholesterol micellar solubility inhibition (50%) was found after 60 min of treatment with alcalase followed by 30 min of hydrolysis with flavourzyme. To test antioxidant activity of chickpea proteins three methods were used: β-carotene bleaching method, reducing power and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical-scavenging effect since antioxidant activity of protein hydrolysates may not be attributed to a single mechanism. Chickpea hydrolysates showed better antioxidant activity in all assays, especially reducing power and DPPH scavenging effect than chickpea protein isolate.

CONCLUSION: The results of this study showed the good potential of chickpea protein hydrolysates as bioactive ingredients. The highest bioactive properties could be obtained by selecting the type of proteases and the hydrolysis time. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry