Hyderabad: Pigeonpea seed coat is lot more than just cattle feed | Hyderabad News – Times of India

HYDERABAD: Scientists at the International Centre for Research in Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) have found that the seed coat of tur dal (pigeonpea) contains six times more calcium than milk.
The study has found that 100 grams of tur dal seed coat has 652 mg of calcium as against 120 mg in 100 ml of milk. Incorporating the tur dal seed coat in diet will help in fighting brittle bone in adults and rickets in children. It can also be used by pharma companies for food supplements.
The researchers discovered that the seed coat is a valuable input for baby food and mineral supplements. Stating that calcium is crucial for bone formation, the team said any imbalance could cause rickets and brittle bones.
The results of the study was published in the journal, Sustainability. The seed coat, which makes up 10% of the seed, is a by-product of the split gram processing industry and it is disposed of either as waste or cattle feed.
Genebank of ICRISAT, which led the study, is continuing its research to evaluate the bioavailability of the nutrients. The human body requires 800 mg to 1,000 mg of calcium per day, which reports indicate that the Indian diet is not providing.
The team selected a subset of 60 diverse pigeonpea types from 600 accessions raised during 2019-2020 rainy seasons on the campus. The calcium content in the seed coat is higher compared to rice bran, wheat bran, and oat bran.
“Plant-based micronutrient capsules have better absorption than synthetics. This creates a new field of research in pigeonpea for maximum utilisation of the available nutrients,” said Dr Kuldeep Singh, head of Genebank, ICRISAT. To raise awareness about nutrition in diet, the country observes nutrition week from September 1 to 7 every year.