The Principal staple food of Pakistan is wheat. It is reported that over 72% of the daily calories and 76% of the protein intake of an average person in Pakistan is derived from cereals. Because animal protein is costly and beyond the purchasing power of the poor people, legumes considered to be (poor manā€™s meat) are the needs of the hour. Nutritionally they are 2 to 3 times richer in protein than cereal grains. In the past few years the area grown under the common legumes such as chick peas, mung (phaseolus mungo) and mash (phaseolus radiate,) has declined and the prices have gone high. Pigeon pea offers another alternative. A massive increase in pigeon pea production in malnourished areas and marginal lands presents a less difficult, less expensive and more protein, energy efficient prospect than the supply of animal proteins. The protein of wheat, the staple diet of the poor section of the population, is deficient in the essential amino acids lysine and threonine. Dependence on the cereal proteins has resulted in the prevalence of protein calorie malnutrition, especially in the vulnerable group. Nutrition intervention programmes to reduce the incidence of protein-caloric malnutrition is of immediate interest. Pigeon pea which is fairly high source of lysine and other essential amino acids, carbohydrates and minerals, can be used as a supplement with cereal protein.
The present study was, therefore, under-taken to determine the nutritive value of pigeon pea of the local variety Desi and imported varieties ICPL 313 and ICPL 314.
The nutritional quality of the three cultivars of pigeon pea was studied by determining their chemical composition, mineral element composition, amino acid composition chemical score and biological evaluation. The protein contents of whole seed of the three cultivars ranged from 20.78 to 21.5%, fat from 1.53 to 1.89%, crude fiber from 8.29 to 8.63%, NFE from 52.57 to 55.35% and ash content ranged from 4.67 to 4.76%. The protein, fat, crude fiber, NFE and ash content of the cooked whole seed were 6.22%, 0.55% , 4.43% 24.10% and 1.72% respectively. The protein, fat crude fiber, NFE and ash of the cooked dhals were 6.69%, 0.74% , 1.91% ,22.4% and 1.37% respectively.
Nine mineral elements, Na. K,P, Ca, Cu, Zu, Fe and Mn were determined in the raw and cooked whole and dhals of the three cultivars of pigeon pea. Cooking caused significant decrease (P<0.05) in the macro mineral elements in whole seed and dhals.
Essential and non-essential amino acids were determined in the raw and cooked whole seed and their dhals. The proportion of glutamic acid was the highest, followed by aspartic acid, phenylalanine and lysine. Threonine, valine, leucine, and isoleucine decreased in the whole seed of ICPL 313 and ICPL 314 on cooking. There was drastic reduction in the tryptophan content of the whole seed of all the three cultivars due to cooking. The effect of cooking on amino acids, content was greater in the dhal. Uncooked samples of the whole seed of cultivar ICPL 313 has the highest chemical score of 53 and ICPL 314 had the lowest score of 48. in each cultivar methionine was the first limiting amino acid. Acid and ICPL 314 tryptophan was the second limiting amino acid.
Thereonine was the third limiting amino acid in all the three cultivars. In the cooked samples of the whole seed of the three cultivars, tryptophan was the first and methionine, the second limiting amino acids. The biological results showed that the average gain in body weight of rats fed on raw whole seed of ICPL 313, ICPL 314 and Desi cultivars were 3.1, 2.7 and 2.6 q per replicate respectively. There was significant increased (P<0.05) in the body weight gain of rats due to cooking of the whole seed and dhals. There was no significant difference in the body weight gain of rats due to form (whole seed versus dhals) or variety. PER values of diets containing was whole seed of cultivars ICPL 313, 314 and desi cultivars were 0.73, 069 to 0.60 respectively . There was no significant effect on the PER values due to from of feeding (whole seed versus dhals). PER values increased significantly (P<0.05) digestibility (TD) of the raw whole seed as well as dhal. True protein ranged between 66.5 to 72.5% and than of their dhals ranged between 72.0% to 83.6%. However, the difference was non significant (P<0.05). There was no significant difference in TD between the raw and cooked whole seed. The protein digestibility of dhals increased significantly on cooking. The net protein utilization (NPU) of the raw seeds of the three cultivars ranged between 42.4 to 46.8% and that of the dhals ranged between 49.0 to 52.0%. There was no significant difference in the NPU values due to cooking. The biological values (BV) of the raw whole seed of the three genotypes ranged between 61.6 to 69.8% and that of their dhals were between 62.4 to 76.6%. There was no significant increased in BV, on cooking whole seed or dhals.
The cooking time of the whole seed of the three cultivars ranged between 71 to 74 minutes. The cooking times of the dhals of the three cultivars was 29 minutes. Thus dehulling and splitting decreased the cooking time of pigeon pea. The dispersed solids in cooking water of dhals were significantly higher than the dispersed solids in the cooking water of whole seed. Compared to the whole seed dhals absorbed more water. Based on these parameters the dhal of ICPL 314 better cookability.
Investigation were carried out to determined the feasibility of using pigeon pea as a feed ingredient in the ration of broiler chicks. The chicks were raised on four experimental rations. Rations, A, B and C contained 5, 10 percent pigeon pea, while ration D was a commercial ration. These rations were fed for seven weeks. The difference among the rations were however non-significant regarding weight gain, feed consumption, feed efficiency and dressing percentage of the chicks. The findings reveled that pigeon pea could be used upto 15 percent level in broiler ration without any adverse effects on weight gain, feed consumption, feed efficiency and dressing percentage.