Most Canadian chickpea production is sold to the Middle East, India, Pakistan and to South America. Currently, two types of chickpea are grown in Canada:
- kabuli – larger types used for human consumption
- desi – smaller types that are ground up into meal
An increase in the estimated production of chickpea and the need for quality assurance of the crop led to the need for a grade schedule for this commodity. Kabuli had been graded by using a “Bean” category, but this method is not suitable for desi varieties.
- Damaged: is whole or split chickpea that is sprouted, frost damaged, heated, insect damaged and chickpea that is distinctly deteriorated or discoloured by weather or disease.
- Cracked seed coats: is chickpea with visibly cracked seed coats – if the chickpea is otherwise damaged, it is included in the tolerance for damage (not cracked seed coats).
- Chickpea with all or part of the seed coat removed.
- Broken chickpea with less than one fourth of the chickpea broken off is considered as damage.
- Splits: include split chickpea, broken pieces that are less than three quarters of the whole seed and halves that are loosely held together by the seed coat.
- Green: is chickpea that when cut in half, is a distinct green throughout. Pale green or immature seeds are taken into account in the evaluation of colour.
- Foreign material: includes any material other than chickpea or split chickpea not removed in cleaning.
- Good natural colour: chickpea that is sound, well matured and have a normal colour.
- Fair colour: chickpea that is immature but not green, moderate amounts of adhered soil, lightly stained or otherwise moderately discoloured from natural causes.
- Poor colour: chickpea that does not meet the definition of fair colour.