Chickpeas are a legume, also known as garbanzo bean in the USA and in Asia as Chana or Bengal Gram.
Chickpeas are in the Fabaceae
family of plants which includes other legumes like peanut, soya beans, lentils, lupin, green beans, peas and mung beans.
There is one allergenic protein in chickpea allergy, that is Cic a 1, a late embryogenesis protein, which is produced in the plant for growth.
Chickpeas contain vicilin, also known as 7S seed storage proteins
. These are panallergens that are most commonly found in nuts, seeds and legumes.
Chickpeas are a high FODMAP food. FODMAP
stands for F
olyols. Foods high in FODMAPs can cause symptoms of food intolerance, affecting the gastro intestinal system and this can be mistaken for a true IgE food allergy.
Like other legumes, chickpeas contain a large amount of lectins
, another cause of food intolerance. Cooking foods with lectins makes them more digestible and can reduce the symptoms of food intolerance.
You can read more about Food Intolerances
on the dedicated Food Intolerance Page.
Chickpea allergy is not currently associated with any allergic syndromes.
There is some evidence of cross reactivity with other legumes, most commonly lentils, but cross reactivity has also been noted with lupin, peanuts and soya beans. You can read more about this group of plants on the Legumes Page
Other foods which contain 7S seed storage proteins include cashews, hazelnuts, coconut, peanut, pecan, pistachio, lentil, pea, sesame and walnut.
Note that these food lists are not exhaustive, you can find the most up to date information on the Cross Reactivity Tool.
Allergen Encyclopedia - Chickpea
Anaphylaxis Campaign - Legumes
Allergy information for: Chickpea, garbanzo, bengal gram (Cicer arietinum)
Healthline - FODMAP Foods
Articles and Journals
Vegan diet—alternative protein sources as potential allergy risk, 2023
Allergic sensitization to foods in India and other Low–Middle-income countries, 2023
Plant proteins from green pea and chickpea: Extraction, fractionation, structural characterization and functional properties, 2022
11S globulin identified as a new bean allergen, 2022
Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) protein as a prospective plant-based ingredient: a review, 2021
Identification and Characterization of IgE-Reactive Proteins and a New Allergen (Cic a 1.01) from Chickpea (Cicer arietinum), 2020
Characterization of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) lectin for biological activity, 2018
Food allergy and cross-reactivity-chickpea as a test case, 2014
Vicilin and the basic subunit of legumin are putative chickpea allergens, 2013
Isolation and Characterization of Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) Seed Protein Fractions, 2009
Clinical features of legume allergy in children from a Mediterranean area, 2008
In vitro and in vivo cross-reactivity studies of legume allergy in a Mediterranean population, 2008
Chickpea: a major food allergen in the Indian subcontinent and its clinical and immunochemical correlation, 2001
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