Publication of a research conducted by Prof. Ram Reifen, Dr. Shimrit Bar-El, Lovemore Nkhata Malunga, Eli Zinal, Zipi Berkovich and Shahal Abbo, about the potential of using chickpeas in infant preventing of undernutrition during childhood.
Undernutrition during childhood is a common disorder in the developing countries, however most research has focussed much on its treatment rather than its prevention.
We investigated the potential of using chickpeas in infant follow-on formula production against the requirements of WHO/FAO on complementary foods and EU regulations on follow-on formula.
The protein content (percentage) increased from 16.66 ± 0.35 and 20.24 ± 0.50 to 20.00 ± 0.15 and 21.98 ± 0.80 for the processed desi and kabuli cultivar compared to raw chickpeas, respectively (P < 0.05). There was insignificant change (P = 0.05) in amino acid profile following processing and the resulting flour was found to meet the amino acid requirements of WHO/FAO protein reference for 0–24 month’s children.
The designed chickpea based infant follow-on formula meets the WHO/FAO requirements on complementary foods and also the EU regulations on follow-on formula with minimal addition of oils, minerals and vitamins. It uses chickpea as a common source of carbohydrate and protein hence making it more economical and affordable for the developing countries without compromising the nutrition quality.