Project 1: Non-Traditional Uses of Pulse Flours with Sensory and Nutritional Comparisons
MPSG provided funding in 2015 to develop recipes showcasing a variety of edible bean products, including flours, purées, and ready-to-eat beans. These recipes were aimed at promoting pulses as a source of protein, fibre, and other essential nutrients during the International Year of Pulses in 2016.
The project combined science and culinary expertise to develop 10 new recipes for baked goods, snack foods, desserts, pastas, soups, and other food products. RRC Polytech students, under the supervision of instructors, were tasked with maximizing the quantity of bean flour that could replace wheat flour in a set of existing recipes without affecting the taste or texture of the final product. Our goal was to help consumers add half a cup of beans per day to their diet through one or two different products, in accordance with dietary recommendations made by Pulse Canada.
Following a series of consumer taste trials, our team concluded that it was possible to replace 25 to 40 per cent of the wheat flour content in these recipes with bean flour. The nutritional analysis revealed an increase in the protein and fibre content for each recipe.
What we learned about these different bean flours, including their taste profiles, nutritional impact, and effect on structure, benefited not only the students, who will go on to become tomorrow’s culinary and research professionals, but our culinary industry and the consumers it serves.
Another of our project priorities was outreach, which led us to showcase the results of our research at events where we introduced chefs, instructors, and foodservice personnel to new pulse ingredients they could incorporate into recipes for restaurants, catering, or institutional cooking such as hospitals, universities, or long-term care facilities.
We held an event to celebrate the launch of International Year of Pulses in January 2016. RRC Polytech hosted producers, consumers, food ingredient manufacturers, media, and other foodservice representatives at Jane’s Restaurant at the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, where we served a delicious menu featuring mouthwatering foods derived from the research project.
We also promoted the project to local media, drawing public and industry attention to the benefits and versatility of pulses. Our media appearances include a CTV Winnipeg Breakfast Television interview featuring our Black Bean Perogies (which happen to be the all-time favourite recipe of Prairie Research Kitchen’s director, Mavis McRae for an alternative version of this recipe). Our work on this project was featured in Food in Canada: Canada’s Food and Beverage Magazine. The perogies also made the trip down to New Orleans for the Research Chef Association annual conference, highlighting the work of industry partner Best Cooking Pulses (now Avena Foods).