Pulse School: Taking the Bite Out of Off-Flavours

(Debra Murphy/RealAgriculture)

Canadian researchers are working on ways to increase the use of pulses in snack foods, not just as a tool to improve market access for producers, but also as a way to improve the nutritional aspects of processed foods.

“We’ve been working with pulses at CIGI here for over a decade now and we’ve learned a lot of things about pulses, and one main thing is that they’re extremely nutritious,” says Peter Frohlich, project manager of pulses and special crops at the Canadian International Grains institute (CIGI).

There’s a problem though. Pulses can — as many kids will attest — have very strong flavours, which do not jive well with the recipe cards held by snack manufacturers.

That’s where CIGI comes in. Researchers at the organization are currently looking to heat-based processes like micronization and roasting to take the bite out of those off-flavours.

“Increasing nutrition in food products — specifically processed food products — is a global initiative,” says Frohlich. “If you can provide healthier snack-foods to consumers, it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.”

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