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ARS Home » Plains Area » Grand Forks, North Dakota » Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center » Healthy Body Weight Research » Research » Research Project #445763

Research Project: Food Systems Approach to Understanding the Impact of Pulses on Human Health

Location: Healthy Body Weight Research

Project Number: 3062-10700-001-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: May 15, 2024
End Date: May 14, 2029

Objective 1 - Determine the acute effects of consuming processed pulse-based food products on satiety and substrate utilization. Objective 2 - Determine the effects of daily consumption of processed pulse-based food products on physiological responses, energy metabolism, and body composition. Objective 3 - Determine consumer attitudes, choices, and consumption patterns of whole pulses and pulse-based food products. Sub-objective 3.A: Determine consumer knowledge, consumption pattern, and attitudes towards pulse consumption. Sub-objective 3.B: Investigate consumer food choice when preparing a meal or dish composed of more than two food components. Secondly, determine whether pulses are being used as a substitute for other foods used in the meal/dish composition.

Increased consumer interest in sustainable, plant-based foods has resulted in greater production of pulse-based food products (i.e., hummus; chickpea or lentil flour pasta) that are convenient and flavorsome. As such, a key public health challenge is to establish the effect these new processed food products have on human health. The benefits of consuming whole pulses are well characterized. However, little is known about how processed pulse-based food products affect health. Processing can significantly change the microstructural properties of pulses which can alter nutrient bioavailability. As more and more pulse-based food products arrive on supermarket shelves it is imperative to determine how consumption of these processed food products effects biomarkers of health and disease risk. In this project we will investigate how consuming differentially processed pulse-based food products compared to whole pulses and non-pulse control foods impacts energy metabolism acutely (Objective 1) and in response to daily consumption for 12 weeks (Objective 2). Integrating pulse-based food products into the diet may help Americans meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommendation for Beans, Peas, Lentils – currently >80% do not meet this recommendation. Therefore, we will also determine consumer mindset about both whole pulses and differentially processed pulse-based food products, how they are incorporated into the diet, and whether they are included as part of a meal when provided as a choice to better understand how to increase pulse consumption in the U.S. (Objective 3). We will employ controlled feeding clinical trials, survey responses, and computer tasks to test our objectives. The results of this project will provide evidence-based recommendations for the incorporation of pulse-based food products into the American diet. The results from this project will also inform pulse production, processing, and marketing practices to help Americans meet the DGA recommendation for Beans, Peas, Lentils.