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J Agric Food Chem. 2015 Mar 18;63(10):2701-7. doi: 10.1021/jf5057524. Epub 2015 Mar 5.

Isoflavone content and composition in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) sprouts germinated under different conditions.

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‡Qilu University of Technology, 3501 Daxue Road, Western University Science Park, Jinan, Shandong 250353, People's Republic of China.
§Institute of Crop Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), 80 South Xueyuan Road, Haidian, Beijing 100081, People's Republic of China.
∥Laboratory of Biophysics and Formulation Engineering, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liège, Passage des Déportés 2, B-5030 Gembloux, Belgium.


The influence of different germination conditions on isoflavone contents in chickpea sprouts was investigated in this study. Chickpea sprouts were germinated under different experimental conditions, including germination in the dark (GD), in the light (GL), under ethanol stress (GE), or under salt stress (GS) in the dark. The results demonstrated that the isoflavone contents in chickpea sprouts germinated with these various conditions significantly increased (p<0.05) compared to those in untreated chickpea seeds. The maximum amount of total isoflavones was obtained from chickpea sprouts in the GL group on day 8. The contents of formononetin and biochanin A in this group were 154 and 130 times higher, respectively, than in untreated seeds and 1.2 times higher than in sprouts in the GD group. Moreover, the isoflavone contents of chickpea sprouts in the GE and GS groups were also higher (p<0.05) than those in the GD group. A solution of 3% ethanol and 0.03 mol/L salt seemed to be the most optimal for isoflavone production among the solutions selected for this study. Most of the isoflavone contents significantly increased (p<0.05), especially formononetin and biochanin A, while the genistein content decreased with germination. Ononin, pseudobaptigenin, and glycitein glucoside acetylated were only detected in germinated chickpeas. This finding could expand the potential for the development of chickpea sprouts as a functional food.


chickpea sprouts; external stress; germination; isoflavones

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