Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG) is funding a research project led by researchers Dr. G. Pushpa and Dr. N. Varadharaju at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) in Coimbatore, India, that is looking at utilizing Saskatchewan-grown dehulled green lentils in traditional Indian foods. TNAU has been conducting research, including a comparative study of the food related characteristics of native pulses versus Saskatchewan dehulled green lentil. Green lentil based food products have been developed and market tested in India. TNAU has also been working with local food processors to further develop and market these lentil-based foods.
India produces 15 million tonnes of pulses, resulting in an average availability of 30 grams per person daily. However, the Indian Council of Medical Research recommends consumption at 45 to 50 grams per day, especially for growing children. With India being a large consumer of pulses and not producing enough for consumption, the country must rely on imports to supplement domestic pulse production more than ever these days. This is where Kanadal, Saskatchewan dehulled green lentils, fit in.
To date, TNAU has researched green lentil use in 30 food products, and further developed 11 of these products. Results have revealed that the physical and nutritional characteristics of the food products prepared were on par compared to products developed from more commonly used pulses grown in India. The sensory evaluations also showed that the lentil-based products were highly acceptable and for some products, the taste was even better than native pulse based products.
The next step? Commercialization and marketing. SPG has launched the Kanadal brand. Now is the time for SPG to start marketing Kanadal as an alternative to native pulses in traditional Indian foods.
Amanda Olekson, communications manager with Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, wrote this article. Would you like to submit a short report about an exciting project your organization is funding with checkoff dollars? Please contact the editor, Jay Whetter. See page 4 for his phone number and email address.