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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; chickpea flour; pumpkin seed press cake flour; glycemic index; total phenolic content; protein content


Research background. Despite the growing trend of the gluten-free market and the presence of a wide range of gluten-free products, there are still some shortcomings of these products in terms of nutritional and sensory quality. 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 glycemic index. On the other hand, from a sensory point of view, gluten-free products usually show inappropriate textural and mechanical properties, poor mouthfeel and flavour. This is a consequence of the limiting choice of raw materials that mainly possess large share of carbohydrate components.

Experimental approach. Chickpea flour (ChF) and two types of pumpkin seed press cake flour (virgin (VF) and cold pressed (CF)), at two substitution levels (20 and 35 %, m/m) were blend to produce gluten-free crackers without the presence of conventional gluten-free starch-rich ingredients. This study aims to investigate the suitability of using these non-conventional flours on nutritional and physicochemical properties, sensory acceptability, antioxidant activity and glycemic index of crackers.

Results and conclusions. All produced crackers can bear a nutritional claims "high fibre", "source of protein", "source of minerals". Replacing ChF with VF and CF 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 glycemic index. Besides nutrient content, CF addition increased overall sensory acceptability, noticeably improving taste and flavour scores compared to Control and VF containing counterparts.

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 flours and starches. The used non-conventional flour represent complementary raw materials in terms of protein quality and valuable alternatives to produce nutrient dense, health promoting gluten-free crackers with reduced glycemic response and acceptable sensory properties.

*Corresponding author: +3814853780

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