PROSEA 1: ‘Pulses’
PROSEA 1: ‘Pulses’ highlights the major importance of edible dry seeds of legumes as protein-rich foods, being complementary to cereals. In addition, pulses play a decisive role in sustainable agriculture through their faculty to fix nitrogen in symbiosis with bacteria.
22 Pulse crops are dealt with, whereas 3 minor species are briefly mentioned. They include soya bean, groundnut, green gram (often used as sprouted beans), chickpea and pigeonpea. All species are presented in a similar manner with details on uses, botany, ecology, agronomy, breeding, prospects and literature.
PROSEA 2: ‘Edible fruits and nuts’
Prosea 2: ‘Edible fruits and nuts’ testifies to the great wealth and diversity of fruits and nuts inSouth East Asia. The appreciation of these fruits and nuts is reflected in the many ways they are put to use and in their role in cultural traditions. Present yields are low, but developments inSouth-East Asiasuggest that traditional skills can provide the necessary clues for a breakthrough towards much higher yields. Among the 120 crops included in this volume are cashew, mango, durian, salak, lychee, citrus species, kumquat, loquat, rambutan. Brief characteristics are given of a further 270 minor fruit crops.
PROSEA 8: ‘Vegetables’
Prosea 8: ‘Vegetables’ deals with the most important vegetables, which account for about 6% of the total agricultural production inSouth-East Asia. Nowadays attention and means are increasingly focused on a limited number of commmercially interesting crops, among them the much improved ‘western’ vegetables, grown in the highlands. This volume intends to contribute to preventing the loss of knowledge on lesser-known indigenous species. It deals with about 100 important vegetables, cultivated as well as wild species, whereas 125 species of minor importance are described briefly. Another 800 species yield vegetables as a byproduct and are listed.
PROSEA 14: ‘Vegetable oils and fats’
Volume 14 deals with plants that are used for their oily seeds or fruits. About 80% of the world supply of non-mineral oils and fats is of vegetable origin and mostly produced by 14 crops. Of these, 9 crops are treated in separate papers. Oil palm and coconut are the two most important oil crops of South-East Asia, but sunflower and sesame are also cultivated in some countries of this region. Rapeseed, safflower, castor and olive may not have much potential in South-East Asia but worldwide utilization of their oils justifies their inclusion in this volume. Another 7 oil crops which are of minor or local importance at present but may have some potential for future cultivation in South-East Asia are also covered: kokam, niger seed, Philippine tung, chia, tengkawang, jojoba and the Chinese tallow tree.
Brief descriptions are given of 35 species which are of minor importance as oil crops, and 139 species producing oils and fats in addition to their divergent primary uses are listed. Oils and fats are of vital importance in human nutrition as a source of energy, essential fatty acids and vitamins. The residual cake left after oil has been extracted from seeds is often a valuable source of protein to supplement livestock feeds and in some cases also human foods. Direct use of unrefined vegetable oils in food preparation or for illumination is still quite common in rural areas. However, most vegetable oils and fats are processed into salad oils, margarines, frying oils, shortening and other products for home use or in the food industry. The nonfood oils and inferior grades of edible oils are converted into soaps and oleochemicals, which find application in a wide range of technical, pharmaceutical and industrial products.