PULSES are annual leguminous crops yielding from one to 12 grains or seeds of variable size, shape and colour within a pod. They are used for both food and feed.

The term "pulses" is limited to crops harvested solely for dry grain, thereby excludingcrops harvested green for food (green peas, green beans, etc.) which are classified as vegetable crops. Also excluded are those crops used mainly for oil extraction (e.g.soybeand and groundnuts) and leguminous crops (e.g. seeds of clover and alfalfa) that are used exclusively for sowing purposes.

In addition to their food value, pulses also play an important role in cropping systems because of their ability to produce nitrogen and thereby enrich the soil. Pulses contain carbohydrates, mainly starches (55-65 percent of the total weight); proteins, including essential amino acids (18-25 percent, and much higher than cereals); and fat (1 - 4 percent). The remainder consists of water and inedible substances.

Production data should be reported in terms of dry clean weight, excluding the weightof the pods. Certain kinds of pulses can be skinned and partially crushed or split toremove the seed-coat, but the resulting products are still considered raw for classification purposes.

FAO covers 11 primary pulses. Each is listed below, along with its code, its botanical name, or names, and a short description.

Only two processed products are included in the FAO list, namely flour of pulses and bran of pulses.

Pulses and Derived Products

0176 BEANS, DRY Phaseolus spp.: kidney, haricot bean (Ph. vulgaris); lima, butter bean (Ph. lunatus); adzuki bean (Ph. angularis); mungo bean, golden, green gram (Ph. aureus); black gram, urd (Ph. mungo); scarlet runner bean (Ph. coccineus); rice bean (Ph. calcaratus); moth bean (Ph. aconitifolius); tepary bean (Ph. acutifolius) Only species of Phaseolus should be included, though several countries also include certain types of beans. Commonly classified as Vigna (angularis, mungo, radiata, aconitifolia). In the past, these species were also classified as Phaseolus.
0181 BROAD BEANS, DRY Vicia faba: horse-bean (var. equina); broad bean (var. major); field bean (var. minor)  
0187 PEAS, DRY garden pea (Pisum sativum); field pea (P. arvense)  
0191 CHICK-PEAS chickpea, Bengal gram, garbanzos (Cicer arietinum)  
0195 COW PEAS, DRY cowpea, blackeye pea/bean (Vigna sinensis; Dolichos sinensis)  
0197 PIGEON PEAS pigeon pea, cajan pea, Congo bean (Cajanus cajan)  
0201 LENTILS (Lens esculenta; Ervum lens)  
0203 BAMBARA BEANS bambara groundnut, earth pea (Voandzeia subterranea) These beand are grown underground in a similar way to groundnuts.
0205 VETCHES spring/common vetch (Vicia sativa) Used mainly for animal feed.
0210 LUPINS (Lupinus spp.) Used primarily for feed, though in some parts of Africa and in Latin America some varieties are cultivated for human food.
0211 PULSES NES Including inter alia: lablab or hyacinth bean (Dolichos spp.); jack or sword bean (Canavalia spp.); winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus); guar bean (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba); velvet bean (Stizolobium spp.); yam bean (Pachyrrhizus erosus); Vigna spp. other than those included in 0176 and 0195 Other pulses that are not identified separately because of their minor relevance at the international level. Because of their limited local importance, some countries report pulses under this heading that are classified individually by FAO.
0212 Flour of Pulses Produced through milling or grinding of pulses. This heading also includes meal.
0213 Bran of Pulses See Chapter 11.

© FAO 1994

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