Gram Pulse Pulses are plants that are harvested in their dry grain form after having been harvested green for food. Most pulse crops are harvested in the early stages of maturity when the seed has reached its maximum size but the seeds have not begun to harden. Pulses come from all over the world, with different varieties adapted to the soil, climate, and agricultural practices where they are grown.
Pulses are relatively labor-intensive to grow but they yield several times more protein per unit of land compared to other food sources. They are a vital part of the healthy diet advocated by governments for good health throughout the world, providing two essential amino acids often lacking in diets based on starchy staples, at no extra cost to consumers. They are an important component of the vegetarian or vegan diet and are sometimes eaten between meals to prevent malnutrition where meat is unavailable or too expensive.
Pulses can be included in many traditional diets, especially those of Asia and the Middle East, including Chinese pechay, hummus, falafel, and the various curries featuring lentils, peas, beans, and other legumes.
Pulses are annual leguminous crops yielding between one and 12 grains or seeds of variable size, shape, and color within a pod, used for both food and feed. The term “pulses” is limited to crops harvested solely for dry grain, thereby excluding crops harvested green for food, which is classified as vegetable crops, as well as those crops used mainly for oil extraction and leguminous crops that are used exclusively for sowing purposes.
Pulses include all dried seeds of the pulses genus (i.e., Pisum sativum (peas), Vicia faba (broad beans), Vigna radiata (mung beans), Cajanus cajan (pigeon peas), Phaseolus lunatus (lima beans), P. vulgaris (kidney beans, black-eyed peas, navy/haricot/white beans), and many more) and Convolvulus and Ipomoea species that are harvested when dry, such as sweet potato (ipomoea batatas) and cassava (manihot utilissima).
The seeds of many crops either in the grass family or the legume family have been used as food for both humans and animals since prehistoric times. Pulses are not a monoculture and thus do not deplete the soil of nutrients; in fact, pulses can return nitrogen to the soil by means of symbiotic bacteria living on their roots. Furthermore, because of their low level of saponin content, lupins do not interfere with the uptake of other micronutrients by plants.
Pulses are also used in several industries, especially in the cosmetic industry, for their high content of guar gum (the second-most common natural hydrocolloid after cellulose). Guar gum is used to produce cellulose thickeners and stabilizers found in many processed foods.
Global gram pulse production
According to the latest data, the world's total pulse production in 2019 is expected to be around 172 million tons. This will be a new high in recent years and an increase of 3.9% over the previous year. The main countries producing pulses in the world are India, Canada, and Australia. Pulses are an important source of protein and other nutrients for people around the world. They are also a key ingredient in many traditional dishes.
The global production of pulses has been on the rise in recent years, due to increased demand from both developed and developing countries. The main drivers of this demand are population growth, economic development, and changes in dietary preferences.
India is the world's largest producer of pulses, with an estimated production of around 70 million tons in 2019. This is followed by Canada and Australia, with production estimates of around 26 million tons and 24 million tons respectively.
Pulse production in India has been growing at a rapid pace in recent years, due to strong demand from both the domestic and export markets. The main pulse crops grown in India are chickpeas, lentils, and pigeon peas.
The Canadian pulse industry is largely export-oriented, with around 85% of the country's production being shipped overseas. Canada is the world's largest exporter of pulses, with major markets including India, Bangladesh, and the United States.
The Australian pulse industry is also export-oriented, with around 60% of the country's production being shipped overseas. Australia is a major supplier of pulses to the Asian market, with India being the largest destination.