Processing and Value Addition of Pulses | Original Article
Cereals and food legumes are the basic ingredients of Indian diets, especially, for the people with low-income groups. For these groups, food self-sufficiency still remains an unachieved objective. Although India is now self-sufficient in the production of cereals but it has yet to depend on import in case of pulses to meet the domestic requirements. This is not always or only because of the inefficiency of the local production systems but due to post harvests losses also. The extent of post-harvest losses in case of pulses is estimated to be in the range of 25-30. This is because pulses are required to pass through a number of unit operations before they are converted to dal. Some losses take place at every stage of processing which must be reduced. Nutritional security in India can be achieved by reducing post-production losses. In fact, production improvement must match with improvement in post-harvest operations and prevention of post-harvest losses. This paper, therefore, takes a look at different unit operations involved in processing of pulses and ways to improve the process to reduce the losses. Experiences or solutions resulting from the use of traditional methods, suitable technologies and mechanized systems are also discussed in detail. It also suggests measures to utilize the by-products for the manufacture of value added products, thereby enhancing income to the farmers. It also suggests future research thrusts in this area.