As part of an effort to make more diverse pulse based food products available to consumers, Canada’s pulse industry hosts an annual product development competition modeled after those run by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and the American Association of Cereal Chemists International (AACCI). The competition challenges post secondary students at Canadian institutions to develop a new food product using Canadian whole pulses or their fractions (flours, fibre, starch, protein) as the major ingredient. The students also design marketing and production approaches, much like a commercial product development team. This opportunity allows students in food science and related disciplines to develop their skills as food professionals in an applied manner, and introduces them to a network of opportunity for future endeavors.
The competitive setting of the Mission: ImPULSEible product development competition is intended to generate awareness of the possibilities and benefits of using pulses as ingredients within the food industry. Post-secondary students enrolled in a food science or related discipline or culinary arts program at a university, college, technical college or culinary school are eligible to participate. Pulses must be present as a key ingredient in the products and may include whole or split pulses, pulse flour, pulse protein, pulse starch and/or pulse fibre. Teams are strongly encouraged to create a pulse-based food with at least 2 g fibre per serving and meets Health Canada’s requirements for labelling claims of low in fat, saturated fat, trans fat or sodium.
This spring, provincial competitions will be held in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Winning teams from each province will have the opportunity to compete at the national competition at the annual Canadian Special Crops Association (CSCA) convention, taking place in Montreal from June 25-28, 2012.