Food & Health

Composition & Functionality

Given their attractive nutritional profile, pulses have been prepared and consumed as traditional foods in cultures all around the world.

Pulses are also finding new uses as functional ingredients in the food processing industry. Pulses can be ground into flour and further fractionated into fibre-, protein- and starch-enriched components. These ingredients are unique in their composition and exhibit functional characteristics such as those relating to their ability to gel, emulsify foam, and bind water or fat. These distinctive properties make pulses valuable as potential solutions in product development and can be incorporated into a range of food products including bakery, pasta, snack bars, breakfast cereals, meat, dairy, beverages, extruded snacks or meat analogues.

Work is being invested in better understanding pulse flour quality and their functional applications. The pulse flour milling initiative is being led by the Canadian International Grains Institute and is a four year project which began in 2010 and is funded by Agriculture Agri-food Canada, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, Alberta Pulse Growers and the Canadian Special Crops Association. This project focuses on expanding the industry knowledge on how different milling techniques will impact pulse flour composition and functionality, as well as optimizing pulse flour use in specific food product applications. As the industry gains insight into pulse milling techniques and insights into which pulse flours and flour particle sizes work best in different food products, this will lead to expanded options and choices to the food industry for using pulse ingredients.

 

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