HomeConsum-actorsChickpea hummus, 8 products compared

Chickpea hummus, 8 products compared

Among the summer sauces, chickpea hummus has a prominent place. It goes well with tomato salads and provides fiber and protein. However, sometimes it also contains additives and too much salt. Our market survey considers the 8 products with the brands Carrefour, Coop, Esselunga, Io Veg, Kasih, Love, Noa, Zorbas.

Chickpea hummus, the do-it-yourself and industrial recipe

The do-it-yourself recipe it's simple, just mix in the right proportion boiled chickpeas, tahini (toasted and ground sesame seeds), garlic, extra virgin olive oil, lemon and a pinch of paprika. By doing without salt, possibly. (1)

The industrial chickpea hummus - at prices from 13 to 22 euros / kg - it instead contains extra ingredients and additives, just as we have already seen for another Mediterranean summer condiment, the tzatziki sauce. (2)

The extra ingredients compared to the traditional recipe are cane sugar (Noa), onions and grape vinegar (Zorbas)

Preservatives and acidifiers

The three additives foodstuffs added to the sample of the products examined are:

  • potassium sorbate (E 202), present in 2 products (Love and Zorbas). It is a preservative widely used by the food industry, still free from food safety doubts. And it is indeed difficult to reach the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) defined by EFSA for the group of sorbates (E202 and E 200, sorbic acid), equal to 11 mg / kg body weight. (3)
  • citric acid (E 330), used as an acidifier in the half of the sample (Love, Noa, Coop, Kasih), is instead replaced by Zorbas with lactic acid (E 270). The synthetic version of citric acid can cause allergy, mycotoxin exposure and tooth damage. Especially among the avid consumers of carbonated drinks and orange flavor, where it is ubiquitous as seen,
  • guar gum (E 412), added in Carrefour's organic hummus. This thickener, very common in industrial foods, in high doses can cause intestinal disorders (bloating, flatulence, laxative effect).

Oil and salt

Extra virgin olive oil it is the ideal fat for this sauce typical of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries. In the industrial recipe we find it only in 5 out of 8 samples.

THE EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) is the only (organic) oil used in Coop's organic hummus. In the other cases it appears as

- first, followed by sesame seed oil in Esselunga hummus,

- second after sunflower oil, in 3 cases (Love, Io Veg, Carrefour)

Two more samples contain a mix soy and sunflower (Zorbas) or refined olive oil (Noa). While the Jordanian Kasih doesn't add any fat. The latter product is free of saturated fats, whereas they vary in the other products from 0,8% of Coop to 3,9% of Zorbas.

Salt it is always added, in varying concentrations. From 0,71 g / 100g of Coop to 2 grams / 100g of Love.

The mystery of chickpeas

The origin of the ingredients is unknown. Only Love indicates the Italian origin of chickpeas and lemon. For the rest, the foreign origin of the chickpea is taken for granted, which represents one disadvantage also for the soils agricultural companies, as well as for the national agricultural economy.

Difficult to understandalso, the actual amount of chickpeas used in the sauce. The generality of producers indicates only the quantity of boiled chickpeas, including water, in a proportion between 45 and 68%. QUID outlaw. The Quantitative ingredient declaration in fact, it must refer to the only highlighted ingredient, chickpeas, with respect to the finished product. And not instead of the compound ingredient (boiled chickpeas).

They are an exception Coop and the German Noa. Coop indicates 55% of boiled chickpeas, 55%, with 45% of legumes. Noa instead refers to 60% of boiled chickpeas, of which chickpeas would be 27%. In both cases, a double QUID to correct. (4)
The Jordanian Finally, Kasih indicates the presence of chickpeas in 10% of the product.

How much fiber in hummus

Concentration di precious fiber food varies from 4 to 5,6%.

Beyond the average the hummus of Love is placed, which reaches a content of 10% thanks to the addition of a preparation of unknown vegetable fiber, indicated as'fiber, salt, aroma'. A mystery on the label, however, to be solved. (5)

In two cases, Io Veg and Noa, finally, the amount of fiber is hidden, not even the sites websites some manufacturers report it.

Legume proteins

The other nourishing expected in chickpea hummus are proteins. The range varies from 4,5 to 7,3%.

Vegetable proteins, remember, are recognized useful in reducing the risks of cardiovascular diseases and premature mortality in general.


(1) Alessia Calzolari. How to cook and eat hummus: mistakes to avoid. The Italian kitchen. 24.2.22

(2) Marta Strinati. Tzatziki sauce, pay attention to the ingredients. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade), 21.7.22

(3) EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Flavourings (FAF Panel). Opinion on the follow ‐ up of the re ‐ evaluation of sorbic acid (E200) and potassium sorbate (E202) as food additives. EFSA Journal 2019; 17 (3): 5625. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2019.5625

(4) Dario Dongo. Compound ingredients and QUIDs on the label, widespread deceptions. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade).

(5) Dario Dongo. Vegetable fibers and extracts, which ones? GIFTS (Great Italian Food Trade).

Marta Strinati
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Professional journalist since January 1995, he has worked for newspapers (Il Messaggero, Paese Sera, La Stampa) and periodicals (NumeroUno, Il Salvagente). She is the author of journalistic surveys on food, she has published the book "Reading labels to know what we eat".

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