Valle Agricola Chickpeas: Nutritional Profile and Metabolomics Traits of a Typical Landrace Legume from Southern Italy

Foods. 2021 Mar 10;10(3):583. doi: 10.3390/foods10030583.


Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) from Valle Agricola is a legume cultivated in Southern Italy whose intake is strictly linked to rural traditions. In order to get new biochemical insight on this landrace and to promote its consumption and marketing, nutritional values (moisture content, total proteins, lipids, total and free amino acids) and metabolic traits are deeply investigated. Valle Agricola chickpea is nutritionally rich in proteins (19.70 g/100 g) and essential amino acids (7.12 g/100 g; ~40% of total). Carbohydrates, whose identity was unraveled by means of UHPLC-HR MS/MS analysis, were almost 60% of chemicals. In particular, a di-galactosylglycerol, a pinitol digalactoside, and a galactosylciceritol were found as constitutive, together with different raffinose-series oligosaccharides. Although lipids were the less constitutive compounds, glycerophospholipids were identified, while among free fatty acids linoleic acid (C18:2) was the most abundant, followed by oleic (C18:1) and palmitic (C16:0) acids. Isoflavones and hydroxybenzoic acid derivatives were also detected. Valle Agricola chickpeas showed very good levels of several mineral nutrients, especially magnesium (164 mg/100 g), potassium (748 mg/100 g), calcium (200 mg/100 g), zinc (4.20 mg/100 g) and manganese (0.45 mg/100 g). The boiling process favorably decreases anti-trypsin and anti-chymotrypsin activities, depleting this precious seed of its intrinsic antinutritional factors.

Keywords: Cicer arietinum L.; amino acids; food quality; legumes; metabolic profile; nutritional values.