In Australia grain legumes are generally referred to as ‘pulses’. The term ‘pulse’ is derived from the Latin pulse meaning ‘seed or grain that can be made into a thick soup or pottage’. (What are pulses? Pulse Australia, www.pulseaus.com.au, 2019). At Esperance Quality Grains we export faba beans, field peas, lentils and lupins from the pulse category.
Pulse grains are usually grown for human consumption; however they can be used along with the ‘seconds’ for stock feed. ‘Seconds’ are the grain that is not up to scratch and leftover after the cleaning of grain.
Faba Beans – Faba beans originated in the Middle East, and are ‘now an important food crop’ for China and many countries in the Mediterranean and Africa. They are extremely similar looking to broad beans, and are used as snacks, in soups and in various other foods. As with most grains and pulses they are also used for feeding stock.
Field Peas – Field peas consist of four different varieties; Dun, Blue, White and Maple. The different varieties have different uses, target markets and growing specifications.
Lentils – Lentils originated in South East Asia and have been a food staple since the very beginning of agriculture. This small, flat circular grain is majoritively used for human consumption. There are two different colours; red and green, which are then split again into different varieties.
Lupins – Lupins take up the majority of the pulse crops grown in Australia. Western Australia grows sweet lupins, whilst the other two growing regions (Victoria and Queensland) grow the albus lupins as well. These two types are also split again into different varieties.
To learn more about these versatile grains please visit the Pulse Australia website, where you can view more in-depth information and even recipes.