The well-known UK bakery brand Warburtons is partnering with the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi) on a pulse research project aiming not only to produce healthier baked products, but also to ultimately increase the use of pulse flours by the food industry.
Saskatchewan Pulse Growers has provided $1.8 million in funding for the project, while Warburtons is contributing $680,000 of in-kind support as well as funds for the purchase of a pilot-scale fermentation tank at Cigi, and the governments of Canada and Manitoba are investing $270,000 through the Grain Innovation Hub. Western Grains Research Foundation and Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers have also provided funding of $158,000 and $25,000, respectively.
According to a press release from Warburtons and Cigi, the project is expected to span three years, with objectives including: Developing a pulse database summarizing new and existing information on the compositional, functional and flavour properties of pulses of greatest interest to the food industry, as well as investigating the effects of pre- and post-milling treatments, particle size and storage; investigating the use of pre-ferment processing on the functionality and end-product quality of doughs containing pulse flours; and exploring the development of pulse-based bakery products that meet specific health and nutrition targets.
The database and research findings will be shared with pulse breeders, seed companies, growers, pulse processors and the food industry.
“By working with Warburtons as a commercial partner on this project, there is a direct link to an end-customer,” says JoAnne Buth, Cigi CEO. “It signifies the potential of pulses to the food industry as ingredients with nutritional benefits that can contribute to improved health and well-being of consumers.”
“Warburtons is proud to be partnering with Cigi on this exciting project to advance the use of pulses in the food industry,” adds Adam Dyck, Warburtons Canadian Program Manager. “This new research underlines the increasing popularity of new and innovative bakery products amongst consumers and is testament to Warburtons’ commitment to future growth through diversification and innovation.”
Saskatchewan Pulse Growers sees the project as an important opportunity to increase the demand for pulse flours. “We are pleased to fund this project,” says Carl Potts, executive director of Saskatchewan Pulse Growers. “Inclusion of pulse ingredients into baked foods helps address consumer interest in choosing nutritional ingredients in the foods they eat. This project also addresses market diversification which is an important focus for SPG, and Saskatchewan pulse growers are well-suited to meet the demand for improved nutrition in the food industry.”