More than just beans: Finalists from all corners of the world share their pulse innovations at IFT

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An energy bar, jam, and even gelato—these aren’t food items often associated with pulses and legumes. But undergraduates, graduates, and professionals showcased that pulses are capable of far much more than we give them credit for.

To celebrate the International Year of Pulses, the Global Pulse Confederation worked together with national pulse associations around the world to organize competitions where student teams come up with novel ways of using pulse ingredients in food products.

“We had eight countries host or run their own local student product development competition that was based on either significantly renovating or completely coming up with a new product concept, where that product contained a significant amount of pulses as the major ingredient,” said Georgie Aley, CEO of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology and Managing Director of the Grains and Legumes Nutritional Council.

In addition, there was an international virtual competition, where submissions were sent in via a YouTube video.

Finalists and winners were flown to Chicago to showcase their products at the IFT show in an event hosted by Pulse Canada, the American Pulse Association, and the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council on July 19, 2016. The winners and products of the national competitions that presented at IFT were:

  1. Southwestern Vegan Black Eyed Pea and Chickpea Enchilada with Salsa Verde and Rocky Mountain Succotash by Steven Ross, Yuda Ou, and Audrey Boeken of Kansas State University, USA, a microwaveable vegan, gluten-free enchilada with salsa verde and southwestern succotash [that] can be on the dinner table in less than 8 minutes.
  2. BiotaGelata by Chandre van de Merwe, Austen Neil, Nicolle Mah from the University of Alberta, Canada, a gluten-free, non-dairy Italian dessert made from fermented Alberta white kidney beans.
  3. Eat Me Coconut Chickpea Cookie by Charlize Snyman and Naomi Cutler from AIFST and RMIT University, Brisbane, Australia, cookies designed based on a challenge to improve a product already in the supermarket by incorporating pulses.
  4. Flax Millet Pulse (FMP) Chips by Yash Gajwani, Shardul Dabir, and Tushar Kaushnik of the National institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management, India, a baked snack food designed to be a nutritious substitute for fried chips, high in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and iron.
  5. Southwest Street Tacos by Hannah Dressen, Shakira Abu Samah, Payton Irlbeck, and Joe Quinlan from Southwest Minnesota State University, microwaveable tacos in a Southwestern-style tortilla with a heaty bison green chile filling, refried lentils, and roasted pepper salsa.

Additionally, there were two winners of the virtual competitions that showcased their product: Charlotte Reynolds from the UK presented her Lupin Crisps, while Phindile Jane Tsela from Swaziland showcased her Bean Jam.

Where next for beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils?

Register for our FREE, online 60-minute Pulse Innovation Forum on November 2, featuring Brami (lupini beans), Beanitos (bean snacks), Eat Well Embrace Life ('other bean hummus'), Pulse Canada, and Banza (chickpea pasta).

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