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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Functional Foods Research » Research » Research Project #438209

Research Project: Improved Utilization of Whole Pulses, Pulse Fractions, and Pulse Byproducts for Health-Promoting Food Ingredients and Biobased Products

Location: Functional Foods Research

Project Number: 5010-41000-181-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: May 4, 2020
End Date: May 3, 2025

Objective 1: Develop innovative processes for pulses, pulse fractions, and pulse byproducts to enable increased commercial use of pulse-based ingredients. Sub-objective 1.1: Enhance the nutritional and functional properties of pulse flours, fractions and byproducts by thermomechanical processing treatments alone or in combination with other physical treatments to obtain new pulse-based components and ingredients. Sub-objective 1.2: Enhance the nutritional and functional properties of pulse flours, fractions and byproducts by germination or fermentation in combination with thermomechanical processing treatments and/or chemical modification. Sub-objective 1.3: Enhance the nutritional and functional properties of pulse flours, fractions and byproducts by addition of fats and oils for composite formation, ligands for starch complex formation, or proteins and hydrocolloid gums for flavor, texture, or structure improvement. Objective 2: Resolve the unknown physical and nutritional properties for foods and functional properties for non-foods prepared with increased levels of modified or concentrated pulse ingredients to enable the development of new products. Sub-objective 2.1: Develop food applications from pulse components. Sub-objective 2.2: Develop non-food applications from pulse components.

The dietary benefits of pulses are well established and are increasingly recognized as valuable sources of protein, fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients. Although the production of pea, bean, and lentil flours and their protein products is increasing, there exist both (1) barriers to more widespread consumer acceptance and (2) a growing need to find uses for pulse processing byproducts such as a starch-rich milling fraction and hulls. Previous studies have shown effects of individual processing methods on pulse seeds, but very little is known about combinations of methods such as combining thermomechanical processing with biological and chemical treatments. The goal of this research is to develop innovative processing methods for pulses and pulse fractions involving combinations of either steam jet-cooking or extrusion with (1) germination and fermentation, and (2) with the strategic addition of exogenous proteins, hydrocolloids, lipids, and functional food ingredients. Research will focus on identifying synergistic treatment effects and utilizing component interactions to enhance the nutritional, structural and functional properties of pulse-based foods and food ingredient products. These new materials will be added to standard food formulations with the goal of maximizing the content of pulse-based ingredients or make totally pulse-based food products with marketable organoleptic properties. Non-food applications will also be investigated for selected pulse fractions based on their physical properties. The results of this research will enable expanded markets for pulse crops and therefore contribute to the sustainability of the pulse-based economy.