Defining hummus/houmous

Hummus fans take the dip very seriously. It can be as divisive as the spelling (we prefer hummus to houmous) 

You can get various forms of hummus and many brands taste different for what is essentially chickpeas.

But now Sabra, one of the biggest hummus makers in the US, is fed up of poor imitations and wants a standardised definition so that fans of the chickpea are not being fooled.

It has sent a petition to the US food regulator, the FDA, to create a set definition for hummus, as is done for other items such as cream cheese and peanut butter.

Sabra says: “Hummus must be comprised (by weight, besides water) predominately of chickpeas, and must be no less than 5% tahini. Sabra defines hummus as, “the semisolid food prepared from mixing cooked, dehydrated, or dried chickpeas and tahini with one or more optional ingredients,” some of which are specified in the 11-page petition.

“A food item that is not made of chickpeas… is not hummus.”

It adds: From black beans and white beans to lentils, soybeans, and navy beans, everyone wants to call their dip ‘hummus.’ This truly does cause confusion for retailers and consumers in what is still an emerging food category.”

More info at the Hummus Blog


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