Physicochemical characteristics and amino acid profile of chickpea cultivars grown in Pakistan


Amjad Iqbal, Daniel Rutherford Building, King’s Building, Edinburgh University, Mayfield road, Edinburgh EH9 3JH, UK. E-mail:


The proximate mineral composition, amino acid profile and physicochemical characteristics of three new chickpea cultivars (two Desi: NIFA-88, NIFA-95, and one Kabuli: Hassan-2k) grown in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan were studied, in order to assess their role in human nutrition. It was found that chickpea is a rich source of protein and minerals. The protein content (22.89–24.82%) of chickpea was much higher than that of cereals (wheat and maize), and comparable to other legumes. Mineral composition of chickpea cultivars showed that they contribute sufficient amount of Ca, P, K, Cu, Zn and Mg in human diets to meet the recommended dietary allowance. The essential amino acid leucine (8.7% of protein) was found in highest concentration, followed by arginine (8.3% of protein) and lysine (7.2% of protein) in the chickpea cultivars. In terms of physical characteristics, more variability was observed in seed size and seed volume than in hydration and swelling capacities, cooking time and hydration and swelling indices. Phytic acid content ranged from 132.3 to 170.7 mg/100 g of dried sample. The higher amount was recorded in Desi than in the Kabuli cultivar of chickpea. It was concluded that chickpea may improve the nutritional value of a cereal-based diet.