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Pet Food Ingredients
On February 19, 2010

Pulses: new ingredients for petfoods?

With the availability of quality ingredients declining, perhaps we need to explore this category

In the search for new, high quality, raw material sources with consumer appeal and a solid nutritional pedigree, pulses are one class of ingredient that the petfood industry has all but completely overlooked. Is that because of limited availability, poor acceptability by the pet, misperceptions about acceptable ingredients for pets or some other intrinsic nutritional or health issue?Direct answers may be hard to find. But given that we are facing issues regarding the availability of quality ingredients and a shrinking list of alternatives, maybe it is time we explored this class of ingredients to see if they provide options worth considering.Pulses are the dried seeds found in pods of leguminous plants. These legume seeds include various dry beans from the Phaseolus and Vigna genus (e.g., pinto beans, navy beans, kidney beans, black beans) along with lentils, peas, chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), field beans, cow peas and several minor families. Pulses do not include seeds grown for oil production such as peanuts and soybeans, "greens" such as fresh or succulent peas and green beans or leguminous forage seeds such as clover and alfalfa.Pulses are grown on each of the continents with arable land and in about every type of climate and soil. There are at least 11 primary pulses recognized and a multitude of varieties or accessions within each group. Global production exceeds 40 million metric ton annually, with India, Canada, Brazil and China being the largest producers. The dry beans make up nearly half the annual production, peas ...

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