Pulses are rapidly expanding into new food uses including bakery, pasta and cereal food categories. A research team from the Food Development Centre (FDC) in Portage la Prairie, Man., is exploring the use of pea fractions (flour, fibre and native starch) in pre-dusts and batters for meats. Funding from the Alberta Pulse Growers Commission (APG) and Agriculture and Food Council of Alberta supports this work.
Phase one of the research examined tempura-battered chicken nuggets. Pea flour and pea starch replaced 100 per cent of traditional wheat flour and corn starch in the pre-dust and tempura batter. Pea fibre was also added to the coatings to raise the total dietary fibre content of the nuggets and transform them into better-for-you prepared foods.
To date, the research team has established that pea starch, flour and fibre can be used in tempura batter coating systems to replace traditional ingredients and to produce products that can attain a fibre nutrient content claim.
“Currently, the vast majority of our peas are exported to two price sensitive international buyers — India and China. This dependence on two dominant buyers is a concern for our industry. To diversify our markets, we need to develop new pulse food products for North American and European consumers. Consumers in these markets want the health and environmental attributes of pulses in culturally acceptable food products,” says Sheri Strydhorst, executive director for APG “This research, funded by farmer dollars, will provide new marketing opportunities.”
Phases two and three of FDC’s research with pea fractions in coatings is continuing, with breaded fish and glazed chicken breasts.
APGC check-off is one per cent of the value of pulses delivered and is applied at the point of sale.
Tammy Jones is communications director with the Alberta Pulse Growers Commmission. 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 2 for his phone number and email address.