Pulse flour can lead to products higher in protein and fiber, and lower in gluten and carbohydrates, believes Warburtons, which has already undertaken preliminary research on the subject with Cigi.
“This new research underlines the increasing popularity of new and innovative bakery products among consumers,” said Warburtons Canadian Program Manager Adam Dyck.
Cigi, an independent not-for-profit market development institute, has also collaborated with the pulse industry over the past decade to study the functionality and application of pulse flours.
Link to end consumer
“By working with Warburtons as a commercial partner on this project, there is a direct link to an end customer,” said Cigi CEO JoAnne Buth. “It signifies the potential of pulses to the food industry as ingredients with nutritional benefits that can contribute to improved health and well-being of consumers.”
Among the key objectives of the project is development of a database that, together with research findings, will be shared with pulse breeders, seed companies, growers, pulse processors and the food industry (see box-out below).
Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG) is the primary funder, and has provided $1.8m for the new three-year project.
“Inclusion of pulse ingredients into baked foods helps address consumer interest in choosing nutritional ingredients in the foods they eat,” said SPG executive director Carl Potts. “This project also addresses market diversification which is an important focus for SPG.”
Warburtons is contributing $680,000 as well as funds for the purchase of a pilot-scale fermentation tank at Cigi. Further funding is coming from the governments of Canada and Manitoba through the Grain Innovation Hub, Western Grains Research Foundation and Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers.
Pulse flour project objectives:
Development of a pulse database
The database will include a summary of new and existing information on pulses of greatest interest to the food industry (yellow peas, red and green lentils, chickpeas and navy beans), including effects of genotype and environment, milling and pre- and post-milling processing, particle size and storage on compositional, functional and flavor properties. The pulse database will be available for use across the food industry and housed on the SPG website.
Explore use of pre-ferment technology with pulse flours
A series of pre-ferment trials using flours milled from varying pulse types, pulse blends, particle sizes and inclusion levels will be undertaken to determine their effects on ferment dough properties, finished bread quality and FODMAP levels (FODMAPs small sugar molecules in everyday foods that may be poorly absorbed in the small intestine of some people). Trials will also be conducted to determine if bread with a clean label can be produced using pre-ferment technology and pulse flour.
Development of pulse-based bakery products that meet specific health and nutrition targets
Selected doughs from pre-ferment trials will be used in baking trials at Cigi to determine if commercial pulse flours and isolates can be used to formulate products that meet specific health and nutrition targets (high protein, high fiber, lower gluten and gluten-free, lower carbohydrates, better carbohydrates, resistant starch, lower calories and reduced FODMAPS). Other tests will evaluate effect of various pulse flour blends on flour and bread quality and impact of baking temperature on flavour of bread containing pulse flours and blends.