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Gluten-Free Crackers Based on Chickpea and Pumpkin Seed Press Cake Flour: Nutritional, Functional and Sensory Properties

Jelena Tomić1*orcid tiny, Dubravka Škrobot1orcid tiny, Ljiljana Popović2orcid tiny, Tamara Dapčević-Hadnađev1orcid tiny, Jelena Čakarević2orcid tiny, Nikola Maravić1orcid tiny and Miroslav Hadnađev1orcid tiny

1University of Novi Sad, Institute of Food Technology, Bulevar cara Lazara 1, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia

2University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Technology, Bulevar cara Lazara 1, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia

Article history:

Received: 17 January 2022

Accepted: 15 July 2022

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gluten-free crackers; chickpea flour; pumpkin seed press cake flour; glycaemic index; total phenolic content; protein content


Research backgroundDespite the growing trend of the gluten-free market and the presence of a wide range of gluten-free products, there are still some shortcomings in nutritional and sensory quality of these products. The commercially available gluten-free products are characterised as products of inferior nutritional quality, particularly in terms of protein and dietary fibre content and with high glycaemic index. On the other hand, from a sensory point of view, gluten-free products usually have inappropriate textural and mechanical properties, poor mouthfeel and flavour. This is a consequence of the limiting choice of raw materials that mainly possess large amount of carbohydrate components.

Experimental approachChickpea flour and two types of pumpkin seed press cake flour (virgin and cold pressed), at two substitution mass fractions (20 and 35 %), were blended to produce gluten-free crackers without the presence of conventional gluten-free starch-rich ingredients. This study aims to investigate the effect of these non-conventional flours on nutritional and physicochemical properties, sensory acceptability, antioxidant activity and glycaemic index of crackers.

Results and conclusionsAll produced crackers can bear nutritional claims ’high fibre’, ’source of protein’ and ’source of minerals’. Replacing chickpea flour with pumpkin seed press cake flour increased protein and total phenolic content and enhanced antioxidant activity. The selected combination of raw materials allows the production of gluten-free crackers with a moderate glycaemic index. Besides nutrient content, the addition of cold-pressed flour increased overall sensory acceptability, noticeably improving taste and flavour scores compared to the control and crackers with virgin pumpkin seed flour.

Novelty and scientific contribution. To the best of our knowledge, there is no study investigating the use of chickpea and pumpkin seed press cake flour blend without using conventional gluten-free flour and starch. The used non-conventional flour represents complementary raw materials in terms of protein quality and valuable alternatives to produce nutrient-rich, health-promoting gluten-free crackers with reduced glycaemic response and acceptable sensory properties.

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