Broad bean is the same species as Faba bean (Vicia faba minor) and markets are also similar (i.e. mainly Middle East) but they have a wider Australian use, for example they are exported to Southern Europe and also South East Asia where they are roasted for use as snack food.
The plant is virtually identical to the Faba bean but has a slightly longer growing season and is therefore suited to regions of slightly higher rainfall (>500mm) to achieve the seed size. Prime growing areas are the south-west of Victoria and south-east of South Australia. Like Faba bean, they tolerate water logging and turn black when harvested.
Faba bean and Broad bean are a good source of carbohydrate and protein while containing a low amount of fats. Starch is the principal carbohydrate component.
The crude protein content of Faba Bean and Broad bean ranges from 24 to 31 per cent.
Faba bean and Broad bean meet all adult human requirements for essential amino acids except methionine and tryptophan.
They also provide the recommended daily allowance of all essential minerals, except calcium.
They are highly digestible and have a metabolisable energy for pigs, poultry and ruminants similar to those of lupin, field pea and soybean meal.