SEPTEMBER 24, 2013
Legume foods represent the perfect protein food in this conflicted era of economic stress, high-value food expectations and environmental responsibility. Here is an opportunity to learn the how and why of incorporating pulse and pulse ingredients into food product development
This addresses the third in a series of four WEBINARS that address how to use pulses and pulse ingredients in food product development.
Legume foods (soybeans excepted) fall under the category of “pulses”, which include peas and chickpeas and lentils. The distinguishing feature of pulses as foods is that 1) they are high in protein content (20-30%), high in dietary fiber (9-17%) and very low in fat. They are also highly sustainable crops. As legumes, they restore nitrogen to soils and, in most large pulse-producing regions, require only minimum if any applications of agricultural chemicals.
Because pulses are not listed as allergenic foods, they can easily replace other allergenic protein ingredients, such as egg, milk, soy, nutmeats and wheat gluten. Their well-balanced primary ingredient components (protein, starch and dietary fiber) are also highly functional, contributing thickening, emulsification, shelf-life extension and other properties to foods. Finally, pulse-based ingredients are low cost.
Today, “protein” is a very hot food commodity, as consumers actively seek to increase their dietary protein consumption. Why?
Pulse proteins are nutritionally beneficial
The U.S. “2012 Food & Health Survey on Consumer Attitudes Toward Food Safety, Nutrition & Health”, conducted by the International Food Information Council (IFIC), found that 56% of consumers actively look for protein content on a food ingredient label and 48% actively try to consume a specific amount of or as much as possible protein in their food choices. The reasons given for protein’s appeal varied:
- 88% recognize that protein helps to build muscle.
- 69% recognized that protein “helps people to feel full”
- 60% recognized that “high-protein diets can help with weight loss.”
On that note, pulse proteins offer high-nutritional value, as measured by nutritional “Protein Score”: pulses offer all of the essential amino acids and a very significant component of the branched chain amino acids associated with muscle growth and healing.
Unfortunately, 25% of respondents also disclosed that they believed “Foods that contain protein are too expensive to consume as much as I would like.” For young, lower-income or overweight consumers, this number well-exceeded 30%. Well, that may be true for meat, egg and dairy products, but it is not the case for pulse foods and pulse protein ingredients.
Pulses proteins are highly cost-effective.
Pulses and pulse ingredients can be used to very cost-effectively boost the protein value of foods: for example, an analysis of the cost-per-unit protein of pulses found that they generally cost between 1/10th to 1/20th the cost-per-unit of protein in egg and milk ingredients. In addition, they exhibit very low price volatility, which is helps food and beverage-company purchasing agents sleep better at night. This, too, renders them highly desirable in food and beverage formulations.
On Tuesday, September 24, 1:00 – 2:00 PM U.S. Central Standard Time, the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council will host the third in its series of four FREE “Food R&D Trends” WEBINARS that offer practical “how-to” guidance on using pulse ingredients as value-added protein sources in food and beverage formulations. Pulses can play a very important role in cost-effectively satisfying growing consumer interest in the protein and amino acid value of their foods.
The WEBINAR will address the following:
• Pulses as Food Ingredients
• Why the Growing Consumer Interest in Proteins
• The Nutritional and Nutraceutical Value of Pulse Proteins
• How to Use Pulse Ingredients in High-Protein Food and Beverage Applications
• Food and Beverage Formulations
For more details on this FREE WEBINAR and how to register and participate, please follow this link: http://www.pea-lentil.com/webinars