Pulse Industry

Determining the Quality and Quantity of Proteins in Canadian Pulses

For a food to possess a protein content claim, the quality of the protein must be assessed by the approved protein quality evaluation procedures. Since protein quality regulations vary from country to country, this presents a significant challenge. This research will guide the development of new approaches to systematically and efficiently determine the quality of dietary proteins via methods that do not rely on the use of animal-based assays and will assist the pulse sector towards positioning pulse-derived protein sources for the food industry.

Lack of data on impacts of processing or variability due to market class and growing conditions on the quality of pulse protein is also a significant hurdle. Composite samples of beans, peas, and lentils from three growing seasons will be milled and processed via a standardized heat treatment (baking), extrusion, or consumer preparation methods. Samples will be measured for protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS, the approved US methodology), or the Canadian Protein Rating system (based on the Protein Efficiency Ratio), or the proposed system called the Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score (DIAAS, a proposed refinement of the PDCAAS system). Through this research, the amino acid profiles of Canadian pulses and their pulse fractions will be determined and compiled in a database along with information on pulse variety, growing location, and crop year.


Theme: Human Health Outcomes
Project Title: The effect of variety and processing on the protein quality of Canadian pulses for the human diet
Funding partners: Saskatchewan Pulse Growers and Agriculture and Agri‐Food Canada
Research Team: Dr. James House – University of Manitoba; Dr. Yves Arcand – AAFC St. Hyacinthe; Dr. Frederic Marsolais – AAFC London; Dr. Anfu Hou – AAFC Morden.


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