Quality of western Canadian peas 2023

This report presents harvest quality data for yellow and green peas grown in western Canada in 2023. Pea samples were submitted to the Canadian Grain Commission’s Harvest Sample Program by producers and grain companies. Quality data is compiled from the results of analytical tests performed in the Grain Research Laboratory.

ISSN 1920-9053

Growing and harvesting conditions

Figures 1 and 2 show the monthly mean temperature differences from normal in the Prairie region during the 2023 growing season (June and July). Figure 3 shows the total precipitation in the Prairie region from April 1 to October 31, 2023.

Figure 1  Mean temperature difference from normal in the Prairie region from June 1 to June 30, 2023
Figure 1 Mean temperature difference from normal in the prairie region from June 1 to June 30, 2023
Figure 2  Mean temperature difference from normal in the Prairie region from July 1 to July 31, 2023
Figure 2 Mean temperature difference from normal in the prairie region from July 1 to July 31, 2023
Figure 3  Total precipitation in the Prairie region from April 1 to October 31, 2023
Figure 3 Total precipitation in the prairie region from April 1 to October 30, 2023

In Manitoba, cold temperatures in early spring slowed the progress of seeding. Warmer than normal temperatures in May allowed seeding operations to advance and seeding was completed by early June. Warm conditions and inadequate moisture in June affected some crops in the central region of Manitoba (Figure 1). Rainfall was variable throughout the growing season (Figure 3). Growing conditions were good except for low topsoil moisture for crops seeded late. Cool temperatures in July helped crops in some areas thrive under dry conditions (Figure 2). By the end of July, crops started to ripen prematurely in some fields due to persistently warm and dry conditions. Harvest began in mid-August and was completed by mid-September. Pea yields varied, depending on precipitation.

In Saskatchewan, seeding began in early May and was completed by early June. Warm temperatures and timely rain in the southeast, east-central, northeast and northwest regions were beneficial for plant growth (Figures 1, 2 and 3). Warm and persistently dry conditions in the southwest and west-central regions, however, caused crops to mature early and resulted in an early harvest (Figure 3). Harvest progressed smoothly and all peas were in bins by mid-September. Pea yields also varied throughout Saskatchewan, depending on precipitation.

In Alberta, unseasonably warm temperatures allowed seeding to begin in early May and be completed by early June. Hot, dry and windy weather depleted soil moisture in June and July, stressing and maturing plants more quickly than normal (Figures 1 and 2). Harvest began in early August in the south and central regions due to dry conditions but was delayed due to wet and cool conditions in the northern parts of the province (Figure 3). By mid-September, the pea harvest was near completion. Pea yields were higher than the five-year provincial average in the northwest and northeast regions, but lower in the other regions.

Production

Pea production in 2023 was estimated to be 2.6 million tonnes, which is approximately 23.7% lower than in 2022, and 31.5% lower than the 10-year average of 3.8 million tonnes (Table 1). The lower production is due to a 16.7% decrease in yield and an 11.0% decrease in harvested area compared to 2022. Saskatchewan had the highest pea production (48.8 %), followed by Alberta (42.8 %) and Manitoba (8.4 %).

Table 1  Production statistics for 2023 western Canadian peasFootnote a
Location Harvested area
(thousand hectares)
Production
(thousand tonnes)
Yield
(kg/ha)
Mean production
(thousand tonnes)
2023 2022 2023 2022 2023 2022 2013–2022
Manitoba 65 76 218 256 3354 3375 142
Saskatchewan 633 727 1269 1570 2004 2160 2017
AlbertaFootnote b 497 540 1111 1581 2235 2930 1630
Western Canada 1195 1343 2598 3407 2113 2538 3790
Table 1 Notes
Table 1 Note 1

Source: Statistics Canada.

Return to table 1 note a referrer

Table 1 Note 2

Includes the Peace River area of British Columbia.

Return to table 1 note b referrer

Harvest samples

Samples were submitted to the Canadian Grain Commission’s Harvest Sample Program by pea producers and grain companies across western Canada (Figure 4). The program received 446 pea samples, consisting of 390 yellow pea samples and 56 green pea samples.

All samples were graded and analyzed for protein content. Composite samples were prepared based on class (yellow or green), crop region and grade (No. 1 or No. 2 Canada). All composites were tested for chemical composition (moisture, protein, starch, crude fat, total dietary fiber and ash content), mineral content, functional properties (water holding capacity and emulsifying capacity) and physical and cooking characteristics (100 seed weight, water absorption, cooking time and firmness of cooked peas). Samples reported by grade do not necessarily represent the actual distribution of the grade across western Canada.

Figure 4  Origin of 2023 pea samples received by the Canadian Grain Commission’s Harvest Sample Program
map

Protein content

The protein content ranged from 16.5% to 30.9% with a mean of 23.4% for yellow peas (Table 2) and ranged from 19.9% to 29.2% with a mean of 24.2% for green peas (Table 3). The mean protein content was lower for both types of peas than in 2022. The mean protein content of yellow and green peas combined was higher in 2023 than the 10-year mean of 23.1% (Figure 5). Tables 4 and 5 show the mean protein and starch content for yellow and green peas according to crop region (Figure 6).

Table 2  Protein content (%, dry basis) for 2023 western Canadian yellow peas by gradeFootnote 1

Peas, No. 1 Canada
Location Number of samples 2023 2022
Mean Minimum Maximum Mean
Manitoba 27 22.7 19.0 25.8 23.0
Saskatchewan 38 22.9 18.6 26.4 23.9
Alberta 34 23.4 18.5 28.7 23.8
Western Canada 99 23.0 18.5 28.7 23.8
Peas, No. 2 Canada
Location Number of samples 2023 2022
Mean Minimum Maximum Mean
Manitoba 27 23.1 16.5 25.9 23.0
Saskatchewan 122 23.5 18.8 30.9 24.0
Alberta 74 23.4 19.9 27.8 23.9
Western Canada 223 23.4 16.5 30.9 23.8
Peas, No. 3 Canada
Location Number of samples 2023 2022
Mean Minimum Maximum Mean
Manitoba 7 23.3 21.4 24.8 23.3
Saskatchewan 40 23.9 18.2 27.2 24.5
Alberta 17 24.8 21.6 27.7 24.1
Western Canada 64 24.0 18.2 27.7 24.3
All grades
Location Number of samples 2023 2022
Mean Minimum Maximum Mean
Manitoba 61 22.9 16.5 25.9 23.0
Saskatchewan 200 23.4 18.2 30.9 24.1
Alberta 125 23.6 18.5 28.7 23.9
Western Canada 386 23.4 16.5 30.9 23.9

Table 3  Protein content (%, dry basis) for 2023 western Canadian green peas by gradeFootnote 1

Peas, No. 1 Canada
Location Number of samples 2023 2022
Mean Minimum Maximum Mean
Saskatchewan 11 25.3 23.0 29.2 26.3
Alberta no data no data no data no data 23.8
Western Canada 11 25.3 23.0 29.2 25.5
Peas, No. 2 Canada
Location Number of samples 2023 2022
Mean Minimum Maximum Mean
Saskatchewan 7 23.4 22.1 26.4 25.7
Alberta 6 24.5 22.5 26.0 24.4
Western Canada 13 23.9 22.1 26.4 25.4
Peas, No. 3 Canada
Location Number of samples 2023 2022
Mean Minimum Maximum Mean
Saskatchewan 12 24.6 22.3 26.4 23.6
Alberta 6 22.1 19.9 23.1 25.0
Western Canada 18 23.7 19.9 26.4 23.8
All grades
Location Number of samples 2023 2022
Mean Minimum Maximum Mean
Saskatchewan 30 24.6 22.1 29.2 24.8
Alberta 12 23.8 19.9 26.0 24.5
Western Canada 42 24.2 19.9 29.2 24.7
Figure 5  Mean protein content (%, dry basis) of western Canadian peas from 2013 to 2023
figure data follows
Graph data
Mean protein content
Crop year Protein (%, dry basis)
2013 22.0
2014 23.4
2015 22.1
2016 22.1
2017 22.6
2018 23.2
2019 23.1
2020 23.3
2021 24.8
2022 24.0
2023 23.5
Figure 6  Crop regions in western Canada
figure description follows
Description

Manitoba crop regions: 1 (Southwest Manitoba), 2 (Northwest Manitoba), and 3 (Eastern Manitoba); Saskatchewan crop regions: 4 (Southeast Saskatchewan), 5 (Southwest Saskatchewan), 6 (Northeast Saskatchewan), and 7 (Northwest Saskatchewan); Alberta crop regions: 8 (Southern Alberta), 9 (Central Alberta), and 10 (Northern Alberta).

Table 4  Mean protein and mean starch content (%, dry basis) for 2023 western Canadian yellow peas by crop region
Crop region Mean protein content Mean starch content
2023 2022 2023 2022
1 22.8 23.6 47.9 45.3
2 18.7 21.3 50.7 47.1
4 22.7 23.1 48.6 46.0
5 24.8 27.3 47.0 44.7
6 22.6 22.8 48.2 46.0
7 23.2 23.7 48.5 46.5
8 24.3 25.0 47.7 44.7
9 22.6 22.9 48.3 46.7
10 21.4 23.0 48.3 47.3
Table 5  Mean protein and mean starch content (%, dry basis) for 2023 western Canadian green peas by crop region
Crop region Mean protein content Mean starch content
2023 2022 2023 2022
4 23.4 24.2 46.6 44.9
5 26.2 27.8 45.1 44.0
7 25.6 26.3 45.7 42.3

Yellow peas

Table 6 contains the 2023 quality data for yellow pea composites by grade. No. 1 and No. 2 yellow peas were lower in mean protein (22.8% and 23.4%) but higher in mean starch (48.5% and 47.9%) than in 2022. Total dietary fiber of No. 1 yellow peas was lower than in 2022 but was similar for both years for No. 2 yellow peas. No. 1 and No. 2 yellow peas had higher crude fat content than in 2022, but the ash content was similar.

Potassium (K) was the most abundant macroelement present in yellow peas, followed by phosphorus (P), magnesium (Mg) and calcium (Ca). Among the microelements, iron (Fe) was the most abundant, followed by zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn) and copper (Cu). The majority of elements in No. 1 and No. 2 yellow peas were present at lower levels compared to 2022.

No. 1 and No. 2 yellow peas were higher in mean water holding capacity (0.91 and 0.92 grams of water per gram of sample) but were lower in oil emulsifying capacity (272.8 and 270.6 millilitres of oil per gram of sample) than in 2022.

The mean 100-seed weight for No. 1 and No. 2 yellow peas (22.5 and 22.1 grams per 100 seeds) was lower than in 2022. The water absorption values were similar to 2022 for both grades.

The cooking time of No. 1 yellow peas (25.4 min) was similar to that in 2022 but was longer for No. 2 yellow peas (29.8 min) compared to 2022 (Table 6). The cooked seed texture was firmer for No. 1 and No. 2 yellow peas (26.6 and 26.4 newtons per gram of cooked seeds) than in 2022.

Table 6  Quality data for 2023 western Canadian yellow pea composites by grade

Chemical composition
Quality parameter Peas, No. 1 Canada Peas, No. 2 Canada
2023 2022 2023 2022
Moisture content, % 11.0 10.5 10.9 10.4
Protein content, %, dry basis 22.8 24.0 23.4 23.9
Starch content, %, dry basis 48.5 45.9 47.9 45.7
Total dietary fiber, %, dry basis 15.8 17.5 16.3 16.5
Crude fat content, %, dry basis 1.35 0.97 1.30 1.03
Ash content, %, dry basis 2.5 2.6 2.5 2.7
Mineral contentFootnote 2
Quality parameter Peas, No. 1 Canada Peas, No. 2 Canada
2023 2022 2023 2022
Calcium, mg/100 g sample 87.4 95.4 86.1 91.8
Copper, mg/100 g sample 0.70 0.69 0.68 0.68
Iron, mg/100 g sample 5.0 5.3 5.3 5.6
Potassium, mg/100 g sample 1038.8 1052.5 1031.2 1082.2
Magnesium, mg/100 g sample 135.9 143.7 135.1 146.2
Manganese, mg/100 g sample 1.3 1.4 1.1 1.4
Phosphorus, mg/100 g sample 308.3 360.7 311.4 368.3
Zinc, mg/100 g sample 3.5 3.4 3.4 3.5
Functional properties
Quality parameter Peas, No. 1 Canada Peas, No. 2 Canada
2023 2022 2023 2022
Water holding capacity, g H2O/g sample 0.91 0.89 0.92 0.89
Emulsifying capacity, ml oil/g sample 272.8 277.2 270.6 274.0
Physical characteristics
Quality parameter Peas, No. 1 Canada Peas, No. 2 Canada
2023 2022 2023 2022
100-seed weight, g/100 seeds 22.5 23.0 22.1 23.1
Water absorption, g H2O/g seeds 0.95 0.93 0.95 0.96
Cooking characteristics
Quality parameter Peas, No. 1 Canada Peas, No. 2 Canada
2023 2022 2023 2022
Cooking time, min 25.4 25.3 29.8 19.8
Firmness, N/g cooked seedsFootnote 3 26.6 23.7 26.4 22.8

Green peas

Table 7 contains the 2023 quality data for green pea composites by grade. The protein content was higher for No. 1 green peas (25.4%) but lower for No. 2 green peas (23.5%) compared to 2022. The starch content of No. 1 green peas (45.5%) and No. 2 green peas (45.9%) was higher compared to 2022. The total dietary fiber of No. 1 green peas (16.5%) and No. 2 green peas (17.2%) was lower than in 2022. The mean crude fat content was higher for No. 1 green peas (1.08%) and No. 2 green peas (1.15%) than in 2022. The ash content was lower for No. 2 green peas (2.5%) than in 2022, but was similar to 2022 for No. 1 green peas (2.5%). In 2023, the trends in macroelement and microelement content in green peas were similar to those described above for yellow peas, with lower levels for the majority of the elements in No. 1 and No. 2 green peas compared to 2022.

The mean water holding capacity for No. 1 green peas and No. 2 green peas (0.91 and 0.93 grams of water per gram of sample) was higher than in 2022. The mean oil emulsifying capacity value of No. 1 green peas (286.5 millilitres of oil per gram of sample) was higher than that in 2022 but was lower for No. 2 green peas (276.9 millilitres of oil per gram of seeds).

The mean 100-seed weight of No 1 green peas (21.1 grams per 100 seeds) was lower compared to 2022 and higher for No. 2 green peas (22.6 grams per 100 seeds) compared to 2022. The water absorption value of No. 1 green peas (0.93 grams of water per gram of seeds) was similar to that in 2022 but was lower for No. 2 green peas (0.87 grams of water per gram of seeds). The cooking time of No. 1 green peas (17.2 min) was shorter compared to 2022 and longer for No. 2 green peas (23.8 min). The cooked texture of No. 1 green peas (22.4 newtons per gram of cooked seed) was similar to that in 2022 but was firmer for No. 2 green peas (25.1 newtons per gram of cooked seeds).

Table 7  Quality data for 2023 western Canadian green pea composites by grade

Chemical composition
Quality parameter Peas, No. 1 Canada Peas, No. 2 Canada
2023 2022 2023 2022
Moisture content, % 11.9 10.2 11.3 10.5
Protein content, %, dry basis 25.4 25.1 23.5 26.1
Starch content, %, dry basis 45.5 44.7 45.9 44.0
Total dietary fiber, %, dry basis 16.5 17.7 17.2 17.7
Crude fat content, %, dry basis 1.08 0.87 1.15 0.82
Ash content, %, dry basis 2.5 2.6 2.5 2.8
Mineral contentFootnote 2
Quality parameter Peas, No. 1 Canada Peas, No. 2 Canada
2023 2022 2023 2022
Calcium, mg/100 g sample 78.6 86.7 77.9 84.9
Copper, mg/100 g sample 0.72 0.67 0.64 0.77
Iron, mg/100 g sample 5.1 5.0 4.7 5.4
Potassium, mg/100 g sample 1001.8 1065.5 1046.5 1082.7
Magnesium, mg/100 g sample 130.9 137.6 131.1 141.3
Manganese, mg/100 g sample 1.0 1.2 1.1 1.2
Phosphorus, mg/100 g sample 337.3 369.4 317.1 430.3
Zinc, mg/100 g sample 3.3 3.4 3.4 3.5
Functional properties
Quality parameter Peas, No. 1 Canada Peas, No. 2 Canada
2023 2022 2023 2022
Water holding capacity, g H2O/g sample 0.91 0.88 0.93 0.89
Emulsifying capacity, ml oil/g sample 286.5 277.7 276.9 284.3
Physical characteristics
Quality parameter Peas, No. 1 Canada Peas, No. 2 Canada
2023 2022 2023 2022
100-seed weight, g/100 seeds 21.1 22.7 22.6 21.0
Water absorption, g H2O/g seeds 0.93 0.94 0.87 0.99
Cooking characteristics
Quality parameter Peas, No. 1 Canada Peas, No. 2 Canada
2023 2022 2023 2022
Cooking time, min 17.2 20.3 23.8 9.2
Firmness, N/g cooked seedsFootnote 3 22.4 22.3 25.1 20.7

Acknowledgements

The Grain Research Laboratory acknowledges the cooperation of western Canadian pulse processors, producers and grain companies in supplying the samples of newly harvested peas. We are also grateful to the following groups within the Canadian Grain Commission: Industry Services for assistance with grading the samples, the Pulse Research Program staff for technical assistance, the staff of the trace elements unit for mineral analysis, and Multimedia services for their assistance in the publication of this document.

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