12 Difference Between Cereals And Pulses With Examples

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What Are Cereals?

Cereals are the grasses which come under the monocot family Poaceae, and are harvested for their starch rich grains. Cereal grains are composed of endosperm, germ, and bran. When compared to other type of crops, cereals are the largest energy providers and are grown in greater quantities worldwide. When consider the nutrient value of cereals, as a whole grain, they are rich in vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, oils and protein. However, after refined by removal of bran and germ, the remaining endosperm part contains mainly starch.

Most of the developing countries consume cereals such as rice, wheat, and millet as their major diets. But, in most developed countries, their cereal consumption is moderate when compared to developing countries. Rice, wheat, and maize make 87% of all grain production worldwide while other varieties such as barley, sorghum, millet, oats, triticale, rye, buckwheat etc. represent the rest of 13% production.

Most cereals are milled or through similar processes to obtain cereal products. Cereal products from the milling process include wheat, rye and oat flour and semolina, cornmeal and corn kernels. Generally, cereal flour is used to make bread. There are of course many other products such as breakfast cereals, pasta, snack foods, dry mixes, cakes, pastries and tortillas. In addition, cereal products are used as ingredients in many products including batters and coatings, thickeners and sweeteners, processed meats, baby foods, confectionery products and beer.

What You Need To Know About Cereals

  • A cereal is any grass cultivated (grown) for the edible components of its grain, composed of the endosperm, germ and bran.
  • Cereals belong to the Poaceae family of Poales order of Kingdom Plantae.
  • Examples of Cereals include: Wheat, rice, oats, triticale, quinoa, chia, rye, buckwheat, sorghum, barley, corn, wheat, rice, oats and maize.
  • Cereals are highly rich in carbohydrates.
  • The production is high when compared to pulses. Cereals account for 85% of all grain production in the world.
  • Cereals are a staple food in many countries around the world.
  • Cereals contain a hard and non-edible husk and grains are attached to a stalk.
  • Cereals can be grown in all kind of soil except desserts and in temperate regions.
  • The amylose content of cereal starches is 20-25% which is lower than pulses.
  • Cereal plants do not have the ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere.
  • The starch in cereals is highly digestible when compared to that of starch.
  • Cereals are rich in amino acid methionine when compared to pulses.

What Are Pulses?

Pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family. Pulses grow in pods and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Generally, legumes are grown agriculturally, primarily for human consumption, for livestock forage and silage and soil-enhancing green manure.

The term “pulses” is limited to crops harvested solely for dry grain, thereby excludingcrops harvested green for food (green peas, green beans, etc.) which are classified as vegetable crops. Also excluded are those crops used mainly for oil extraction (e.g.soybeand and groundnuts) and leguminous crops (e.g. seeds of clover and alfalfa) that are used exclusively for sowing purposes.

In addition to their food value, pulses also play an important role in cropping systems because of their ability to produce nitrogen and thereby enrich the soil. Pulses contain carbohydrates, mainly starches (55-65 percent of the total weight); proteins, including essential amino acids (18-25 percent, and much higher than cereals); and fat (1 – 4 percent). The remainder consists of water and inedible substances.

What You Need To Know About Pulses 

  • Pulses are leguminous crop that is harvested as the dry seed in a pod.
  • Pulses belong to the Luguminosae family of Fabales order of Plantae kingdom.
  • Examples of pulses include: Lentils, chickpeas, lupins, mung bean, golden gram, green gram, vetches, pigeon peas, dry beans and cowpeas.
  • Pulses are rich in proteins and amino acids, though they consist of fewer contents of carbohydrates.
  • The production is less compared to the cereals. Pulses account for 13% of all grain production in the world.
  • The consumption of pulses around the world is less when compared to cereals. Pulses are generally incorporated into the staple diet as a meal, curry or consumed as a snack.  
  • Pulses grow in the pod, which may yield one to twelve seeds. They are not made up of a hard and non-edible husk.
  • Pulses require less moisture to grow, they can therefore grow even dry conditions. They are generally grown in pots.
  • The amylose content of legume pulses starches is 30-40%, which is lower than cereals.
  • Pulses have the ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere.
  • The digestibility of starch in pulses is lower than that of cereals.
  • Many pulses are deficient in the essential amino acid methionine.

Difference Between Cereals And Pulses In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON CEREALS PULSES
Description Cereals are forms of harvested grasses which are cultivated for its starch component. Pulses are the leguminous crop that is harvested as the dry seed in a pod.  
Classification Cereals belong to the Poaceae family of Poales order of Kingdom Plantae.   Pulses belong to the Luguminosae family of Fabales order of Plantae kingdom.  
Carbohydrate & Proteins Cereals are highly rich in carbohydrates.   Pulses are rich in proteins and amino acids, though they consist of fewer contents of carbohydrates.  
Production Cereals account for 85% of all grain production in the world.   Pulses account for 13% of all grain production in the world.  
Consumption Cereals are a staple food in many countries around the world.   The consumption of pulses around the world is less when compared to cereals.
Nature Cereals contain a hard and non-edible husk and grains are attached to a stalk.   Pulses grow in the pod, which may yield one to twelve seeds. They are not made up of a hard and non-edible husk.  
Growing Condition Cereals can be grown in all kind of soil except desserts and in temperate regions.   Pulses require less moisture to grow, they can therefore grow even dry conditions.
Amylose Content The amylose content of cereal starches is 20-25% which is lower than pulses.   The amylose content of legume pulses starches is 30-40%, which is lower than cereals.  
Nitrogen Fixation Cereal plants do not have the ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere.   Pulses have the ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere.  
Digestibility The starch in cereals is highly digestible when compared to that of starch.   The digestibility of starch in pulses is lower than that of cereals.  
Amino Acid Methionine Cereals are rich in amino acid methionine when compared to pulses.   Many pulses are deficient in the essential amino acid methionine.  

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