Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Small Grain and Food Crops Quality Research » Research » Research Project #440685

Research Project: PCHI: Pulse-fruit Aggregate Ingredients with Enhanced Taste, Functionality and Health Attributes for Diversified Food Applications

Location: Small Grain and Food Crops Quality Research

Project Number: 3060-21650-002-026-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2021
End Date: Dec 31, 2024

Objective 1: Develop and streamline a scalable and environmentally-friendly processing strategy to produce nutritious, shelf stable pulse-fruit aggregate ingredients, and categorize them in terms of composition, health-relevant bioactive components, physicochemical and functional attributes and digestibility in vitro; Objective 2: Scale-up the production of one prioritized pulse-fruit aggregate ingredient to formulate mainstream pulse products in a market-ready, convenient, ready-to-eat format and demonstrate sensory attributes; Objective 3: Establish taste/tolerance profiles for selected pulse-fruit product, determine feasibility to deliver low energy density and high fiber/phytoactive content to human subjects, and validate dietary efficacy for management of risk factors for metabolic syndrome/obesity in a human clinical trial.

Three experimental groups will be tested by complexing three pulse protein groups (chickpea, pea or chickpea:pea blend 1:1) with blueberry pomace extracts and spray drying to produce fine granular aggregate ingredients. Treatments will be analyzed in terms of pulse-fruit particle compositional characterization, polyphenol load, antioxidant activity, digestibility and bioavailability (of both polyphenols and proteins), physicochemical and functional analyses of the aggregates, reconstitution behaviors and dispersion stability, particle size distribution (PSD) and particle morphology, surface and interfacial properties and functional attributes. Based on these criteria, a prioritized formulation will be scaled up and used to develop two model ready-to-each food products. These will undergo sensory evaluation. Finally, one model food will serve as the intervention in a clinical trial for biomarkers of metabolic syndrome/obesity, with primary endpoints (efficacy in improving metabolic function), secondary endpoints (perceived energy levels, digestive health), and tertiary endpoints (total circulating phenolic metabolites, health status of colonic microbiome).