Warburtons Participating in Major Pulse Flour Project at Cigi

JoAnne Buth, CEO, Cigi, and Brett Warburton, executive director, Warburtons, with the newly installed pilot-scale fermentation tank at Cigi, to be used in work with pulse flours. (photo courtesy Cigi)

A multi-year pulse research project at the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi) aimed at producing healthier baked products and increasing the use of pulse flours was launched this morning in Winnipeg.

Warburtons, the United Kingdom’s largest bakery brand, is the commercial partner and providing $680,000 in in-kind support and funding for the project. Saskatchewan Pulse Growers is investing $1.8 million, while the federal and Manitoba governments announced a joint commitment of $270,000. The Western Grains Research Foundation and Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers are also contributing $158,000 and $25,000, respectively.

Some of the funding will be used to purchase and install new equipment, including a fermentation tank.

Pulse flour products. Photo Courtesy of CIGI

Pulse flour products (photo courtesy Cigi)

“By working with Warburtons as a commercial partner on this project, there is a direct link to an end-customer,” said JoAnne Buth, Cigi CEO. “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.”

Warburtons has previously done preliminary research at Cigi on using pulse flours to boost protein and fibre in its products.

“This new research underlines the increasing popularity of new and innovative bakery products amongst consumers and is testament to Warburtons’ commitment to future growth through diversification and innovation,” noted Adam Dyck, Warburtons Canadian Program Manager, in a release from Cigi.

According to Cigi, the objectives for the three-year project include:

  • Developing a pulse database summarizing new and existing information on the compositional, functional and flavour properties of pulses of greatest interest to the food industry (ie. yellow peas, red and green lentils, chickpeas and navy beans), as well as investigating the effects of pre- and post-milling treatments, particle size and storage.;
  • Investigating the use of pre-ferment processing on the functionality and end-product quality of doughs containing pulse flours;
  • Exploring the development of pulse-based bakery products that meet specific health and nutrition targets.

Cigi says the findings will be shared with pulse breeders, seed companies, growers, pulse processors and the food industry.

“We are pleased to fund this project,” said Carl Potts, executive director of SaskPulse, the primary funder of the project. “Inclusion of pulse ingredients into baked foods helps address consumer interest in choosing nutritional ingredients in the foods they eat. This project also addresses market diversification, which is an important focus for SPG, and Saskatchewan pulse growers are well-suited to meet the demand for improved nutrition in the food industry.”

The $270,000 in government funding was announced by Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler.

“Canada is a world leader in pulse production and the Government of Canada is proud to support the ongoing research that contributes to this success,” said MacAulay. “Funding research to find new and innovative uses for pulse crops contributes to economic prosperity for farmers, while meeting the needs of today’s health conscious consumers, here and around the globe.”

“Consumers are looking for healthier, more nutritious foods that taste great, and Manitoba-grown pulses can help meet this demand,” noted Eichler. “This research project is exciting because it will help identify new markets and opportunities for pulse growers, adding value to crops grown here at home.”

Check out the links below for some of RealAg’s coverage of the pulse research happening at Cigi:

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