Bean-based nutrition

by Charlotte Atchley
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Pulse flours and concentrates deliver high protein content to baked goods and snacks on top of being gluten-free, clean-label-friendly, vegan and allergen-free.

High-protein, clean label, vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free — these are just some of the things consumers are looking for from their foods today. Such descriptors apply as well to the ingredients bakers and snack producers seek when wanting to catch the attention of health-and-­wellness shoppers.

“Consumers continue to become more health conscious, but most of these consumers would prefer not to sacrifice on taste, texture and the overall eating experience for health-related benefits,” said Pat O’Brien, manager, strategic business development, Ingredion. One way product developers approach this challenge is by improving a product’s nutrition profile with healthy base ingredients.

Pulses fit all the descriptors consumers are looking for and can help formulators reach their goals. They meet increased protein and fiber claims, are non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan and clean label and don’t have to be declared as allergens.

Two years ago, Ingredion partnered with AGT Food and Ingredients to act as the exclusive sales, marketing and distribution arm for AGT’s line of ingredients derived from pulses. Together, the two companies’ portfolio of pulse-based ingredients include VITESSENCE Pulse protein concentrates, HOMECRAFT Pulse flours and the latest Clean Taste pulse ingredients that were launched at this year’s Institute of Food Technologists’ Annual Meeting and Food Expo, held July 16-19 in Chicago.

The VITESSENCE line features protein concentrates derived from pea, lentil and faba bean that range in protein content from 55 to 60%. They are ideal for enriching baked goods, snacks and cereals, and products made with these ingredients can allow for protein positioning.

HOMECRAFT Pulse flours are made from chickpea, yellow lentil, yellow split pea and faba bean, containing twice as much protein as cereal grains. They are also naturally gluten-free and can enrich snacks, breads, cakes, cereals and pasta.

Choosing between pulse concentrates or flours depends on the formulator’s end goal. When trying to improve the nutritional profile of a finished baked good or snack with higher protein content, Mr. O’Brien suggested using the VITESSENCE Pulse protein concentrates. HOMECRAFT Pulse flours can help with improving texture of gluten-free baked goods or for achieving a clean, simple positioning in snacks.

One challenge of formulating with pulse ingredients, however, is the beany flavor profile they contribute to the finished product. “In certain applications, the flavor profile may be desired while in other applications, product developers may prefer a bland flavor profile,” Mr. O’Brien said.

To address this challenge, Ingredion and AGT developed the line of Clean Taste pulse ingredients. “The Clean Taste pulse ingredients will allow product developers a bland flavor profile for easier incorporation into applications in which flavor has been an issue when trying to formulate with pulse ingredients,” he explained.

These plant-based pulses can help bakers and snack producers create innovative products that will deliver on several target issues for health-conscious consumers. For more information on these high-protein ingredients, visit

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