Peas Commodity Fact Sheet

WBSCM Material Description and Number

PEAS, GREEN, SPLIT BAG-50 KG    100556
PEAS, GREEN, WHOLE BAG-50 KG    100559

General Information

Peas are pulses available for food aid in four varieties: green whole, green split, yellow whole and yellow split peas. The four varieties of peas available offer the ability to meet local taste and cooking preferences. Peas are a cool season crop planted in the early spring and harvested in the summer in the cooler climates of the Northern Plains and the Palouse (including eastern Oregon and Washington and Idaho) regions of the United States. For more information on pea characteristics, production, nutritional content, and processing, refer to the United States Dry Pea and Lentil Council ( Peas are packaged in 50-kilogram polypropylene woven bags whose fabric contains an inhibitor to resist ultraviolet absorption and an anti-skid coating. If stored at less than 16 percent moisture and 60 degrees, peas have a shelf life of up to three years; however, long storage may cause discoloration, hardness or moisture absorption. For full product specifications refer to the USDA Commodity Requirements Document for peas and lentils.

Programming Guidance

Split and whole peas can be programmed in emergency or development settings as illustrated by the 2011 Food Aid Quality Review (FAQR) report decision trees:

  • Emergencies: Peas may be provided with oil and either a fortified flour/meal or grain in the second phase of emergency food distribution. Either corn soy blend (CSB) or a ready-to-use supplementary food (RUSF) should be added as a targeted supplement to this ration, for children under two (U2). In a longer-term emergency, peas may be provided in Food for Assets, Food for Work, Food for Training, as well as Vulnerable Group Feeding, and Food for Education programs.
  • Development: Peas may be used as part of a general household ration, along with a grain and oil, where this is appropriate. Peas may also be provided in Food for Assets, Food for Work, Food for Training, as well as Vulnerable Group Feeding, and Food for Education programs.

Nutrition/Preparation Information

Peas are consumed as an affordable source of protein and starch in North America, Asia, Europe and parts of the Middle East. They are a good source of plant-based protein, complex carbohydrates, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium and an excellent source of copper, fiber, folate, manganese and thiamin. When combined with a grain, peas contribute complementary amino acids to form a complete protein meal. Peas can be prepared using a variety of methods, including boiling, frying, roasting, mashing, sprouting, fermenting, and milling into flours to make a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, roasted snacks and baked goods. Preparing whole peas involves overnight soaking, after which they will cook in approximately one hour. Split peas need not be soaked before cooking and will cook in 25 to 30 minutes. If split peas are soaked overnight, cooking time can be reduced to 13 to 15 minutes. Whether whole or split, cook by combining peas with double the amount of water.

USDA Nutrient Database

From the USDA Nutrient Database ( search for:

Peas, green, split, mature seeds, raw:

Peas, green, raw:   

*Note: There is no USDA Nutrient Database link for yellow whole, or yellow split peas; however, these products are nutritionally similar to green peas. 

USDA Commodity Requirements Document

Shelf Life/Best if Used By Date (BUBD)

  • Shelf life - not available 
  • BUBD - not available


U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2015. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page. Retrieved September 30, 2016 from:

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency. 2015. USDA Commodity Requirements. PL6 Peas and Lentils for Use in Export Programs. Retrieved September 30, 2016 from:

USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council. 2010. Resources. Retrieved September 30, 2016 from:

USA Dry Peas & Lentil Council. 2010. Technical Manual. Retrieved September 30, 2016 from:

Webb, P., B. Rogers, I. Rosenberg, N. Schlossman, C. Wanke, J. Bagriansky, K. Sadler, Q. Johnson, J. Tilahun, A. Reese Masterson, A. Narayan. 2011. Delivering Improved Nutrition: Recommendations for Changes to U.S. Food Aid Products and Programming.  Retrieved September 30, 2016 from:

Last updated: November 14, 2016

Share This Page