Overview Of Mungbean – An Important Conventional Pulse Crop Of Pakistan

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Mungbean (Vigna radiata L.) is an important conventional pulse crop of Pakistan and commonly known as green gram. It is one of the most important pulse crops, grown from the tropical to sub-tropical areas around the world. It is an important wide spreading, herbaceous and annual legume pulse crop cultivated mostly by traditional famers. It has high nutritive value, and due to this, has advantage over the other pulses. The seed contains 24.20% protein content, 1.30% fat, and 60.4% carbohydrates; calcium (Ca) is 118 and phosphorus (P) is 340 mg per 100 g of seed, respectively. Moreover, protein content of mungbean seeds is about twofold higher than in the cereal seed maize, with a lower storage protein content (7 to 10%) and significantly higher protein content than observed for conventional root crops.

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India is the largest producer and consumer of mungbean accounting for about 65 per cent of the world’s acreage and 54 per cent of the world’s production. Mungbean is grown in Pakistan on largest pulse area second only to chickpea. In Pakistan minor crops like pulses occupy .07 % of the total cropped area of 22.8 million hectares in 2011-12. Pakistan is spending large amount on pulses imports to fill the gap between supply and demand of pulses. Punjab province is leading in area and production of mungbean. But it is alarming that yield of Mungbean is lowest than Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa average yield per ha is 600 kg and Punjab yield is 569 kg per ha.

There are 3 subgroups of Vigna radiata: one is cultivated (Vigna radiata subsp. radiata), and two are wild (Vigna radiata subsp. sublobataand Vigna radiata subsp. glabra). The mung bean plant is an annual, erect or semi-erect, reaching a height of 0.15-1.25 m. It is slightly hairy with a well-developed root system. Wild types tend to be prostrate while cultivated types are more erect. The stems are many-branched, sometimes twining at the tips. The leaves are alternate, trifoliolate with elliptical to ovate leaflets, 5-18 cm long x 3-15 cm broad. The flowers (4-30) are papillonaceous, pale yellow or greenish in color. The pods are long, cylindrical, hairy and pending. They contain 7 to 20 small, ellipsoid or cube-shaped seeds. The seeds are variable in color: they are usually green, but can also be yellow, olive, brown, purplish brown or black, mottled and/or ridged. Seed colors and presence or absence of a rough layer are used to distinguish different types of mungbean. Cultivated types are generally green or golden and can be shiny or dull depending on the presence of a texture layer.

With increasing clinical evidence suggesting that plant derived foods have various potential health benefits, their consumption has been growing at a rate of 5%-10% per year. The mung bean (Vigna radiata) has been consumed as a common food in China for more than 2,000 years. It is well known for its detoxification activities and is used to refresh mentality, alleviate heat stroke, and reduce swelling in the summer. In the book Ben Cao Qiu Zhen (本草求真), the mung bean was recorded to be beneficial in the regulation of gastrointestinal upset and to moisturize the skin.The seeds and sprouts of mung beans are also widely used as a fresh salad vegetable or common food in India, Bangladesh, South East Asia, and western countries. As a food, mungbeans contain balanced nutrients, including protein and dietary fiber, and significant amounts of bioactivephytochemicals.

Over the last decade, several studies have been focused on changes in bioactive compounds of beans, when germination increase, water soluble protein content, total phenolic content, and antioxidant activity increases. However, there were no systematic researches on changes in bioactive compounds and antioxidant activities of mungbean, soybean and black bean during the germination process. Besides, no scientific methods were available to evaluate the total bioactive compound content of sprouts in a comprehensive way.

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