University of Sask studies the best chickpea crops for cattle feed

The University of Saskatchewan says the savory dish hummus has gained popularity as cattle feed.

Hummus used to be an exotic spread in the Middle East but is now a staple in grocery stores around the world.

As chickpea production increases around the world, the crops not suitable for human consumption are being recycled into cattle feed as a partial replacement for soybean meal and cereal grains.

University of Saskatchewan professor Dr. Peiqiang Yu says research centres on determining which chickpea varieties have the highest nutritional value and best serve as a feed for beef and dairy cattle.

Researchers say the Canadian Light Source syncotron is a key component in the research work to determine use and digestibility when chickpeas are used in animal feed.

In the future, the team will look at different chickpea processing techniques like dry heating, moist heating and microwave irradiation affect the nutrient components.
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