Innovators from all over the world won the chance to present their unique pulse-based products at the Institute of Food Technologists Expo in Chicago this week.
The Global Pulse Confederation, a Farming First supporter via the International Agri-Food Network designed the “LovePulses Produce Showcase” competition to discover a new wave of pulse products for the market, in celebration of the International Year of Pulses.
“Each recipe was judged on flavour, originality and delivery,” says Dr. Mahmoud Solh, Director General of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and Chair of the Judging Panel, “and the winners’ entries illustrate how diverse and exciting pulses can be in snacks, main dishes and even desserts, in addition to having nutritional and environmental benefits.”
Pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family which include dry beans, dry peas, chickpeas and lentils. Pulses have been hailed as a new “superfood” since they are high in protein, dietary fibre and antioxidants yet low in fat and gluten-free. Pulses also require less water than other crops to grow, and produce minimal greenhouse gases, making them sustainable as well as a superfood.
Winners showcasing their products in Chicago, hoping to catch the eye of potential investors and retailers, included:
Blooming Food Lupin Crisps by Charlotte Reynolds, a final year student at Harper Adams University (UK) “My crisps are made from lupin beans, giving them a delicious flavour and appearance that I hope will appeal to retailers in the UK and elsewhere,” she commented.
Bean Jam by Phindile Jane Tsela, a food technologist from Swaziland.“I originally created my bean jam recipe to improve local people’s nutrition, but it also has a great taste,” she said.
Southwestern Vegan Black Eyed Pea and Chickpea Enchilada by Kansas State University students from USA. “Our quick, microwaveable meal is packed with protein and rich in flavours stemming from Southwestern cuisine,” commented team leader Steven Ross.
Biotagelata Dairy Free Dessert by University of Alberta students from Canada “This delicious guilt-free dessert is high in probiotic and low in sugar and fat” says team leader Nicolle Mah. “This was just an incredible opportunity to learn more about pulses and what we can do with our creativity.”
Flax Millet Pulse Chips by the National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management from India. “Flax Millet Pulse (F.M.P) Chips are a nutritious substitute for unhealthy fried chips, high in Omega 3 fatty acids, protein and iron.” says the team.
Eat Me Coconut Chickpea Cookie by students of the AIFST & RMIT University in Australia. “This gluten-free cookie has the Australian flavour of Anzac cookies with the added goodness of pulses,” say winners Naomi Cutler and Charlize Snyman.
Southwest Street Tacos by students from Southwest Minnesota State University, USA- “The quick, microwaveable meal is rich in flavours whose origins stem from deep in the Rocky Mountain and Southwestern cuisine.”
For more information about the winning innovations, visit http://iyp2016.org/winners-of-the-lovepulses-product-showcase-competition or search #LovePulses on Twitter.