Cigi staff share applied research results at AACCI conference


Cigi technical staff attending the American Association of Cereal Chemists International annual meeting in Providence, Rhode Island in October shared their results from applied research work investigating the effects of pulse flours in Asian products and the characteristics of pea flour made from partially germinated peas.

Lindsay Bourré, Technical Specialist, Pulses, presented ‘The Effects of Yellow Pea Flour in the Physical and Sensory Properties of Asian Noodles’ at the symposium Solutions with Pulse Ingredients in Product Development Applications. The study was carried out with several other Cigi technical staff and Compusense in Guelph, Ontario conducted sensory testing.

She says her findings indicate pulse flours affect flavour and texture when included as an ingredient in Asian noodles and sensory panelists found more of a difference with air dried noodles than deep fried noodles. “The oil could be masking the flavour or the high heat could be driving off some of the beany or grassy flavours. We also looked at the influence of flour protein content but it really came down to having stronger odours and flavours as more pulse flour was added while the protein content of the flour didn’t really have a significant effect.”

Lindsay, who has given presentations and posters on work with pulses as ingredients at the last four AACCI conferences, says the interest in pulses is growing among attendees. “More people are coming to sessions and there seems to also be more interest in (pulse) protein. Four years ago we had to push for a session on pulses and there has been one every year since, as well as pulses now being included in other sessions.”

About 50 people attended her presentation, including food and ingredient company representatives, academics, and researchers who indicated interest in the sensory work and flavours of pulses added to noodles as well as other products.

Lindsay adds that the conference sessions are quite specialized and the conference, overall, offers an opportunity to interact with other researchers to keep current on the kind of work they are doing which helps her decide on what direction she might take in her own work.

Flour from partially germinated peas

Peter Frohlich, Project Manager, Pulses and Special Crops, who presented a poster entitled ‘Effect of Processing Conditions During the Partial Germination of Whole Yellow Peas on the Quality of Spaghetti and Extruded Snacks,’ agrees that the conference is science based and “very focused.”

His study looked at the characteristics of pea flour made from partially germinated (Pargem) peas processed with equipment developed by Buhler AG in Switzerland. The process, which has been done naturally for hundreds of years, he says, helps reduce pea flavour which is undesirable when adding it as an ingredient to some food products.

Partially germinated peas.

Partially germinated peas.

Peter’s work is part of a larger project in collaboration with Buhler AG, the Leduc Food Processing Development Centre, University of Manitoba, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and Pulse Canada. He investigated the quality of pasta and extruded products processed at Cigi while the Leduc Centre worked on baked products. Final results from the collaboration are expected in December.

“My poster was about looking at the processing parameters during germination and how they affect the end-product quality of pasta and extruded snacks when the germinated peas are milled into flour and added as an ingredient,” he says. “We learned many different things such as improving end-product quality by moderating the amount of Pargem flour we put in.”

Navy bean flour in steamed bread

Attending the conference for the first time as a Cigi staff member was Da An (Anne), Technician, Asian Products and Extrusion Technology, where she presented the poster, ‘Development and Quality Evaluation of Navy Bean Flour Steamed Bread.’ (Several years ago she participated in the student product development competition and placed first for developing a pulse snack with a group of graduate students including Heather Maskus, also now a Cigi staff member.)

steam bun process_17

Results from Cigi’s work evaluating the use of navy bean flour in steamed bread were presented at the conference.

Navy bean flour has a pale colour, mild flavour, high protein and fibre, low fat and zero cholesterol, Anne says, making it a good ingredient to add to a bright white product like steamed bread. “Navy bean is very nutritious. If you add it in with a wheat-based product like pan bread or steamed bread it improves the protein composition since it is high in lysine and lectins while wheat flour is low in lysine.”

She adds, however, that navy bean flour is very high in fibre so if too much is added to steamed bread the texture can change as well as the taste. “So the aim of the study was to investigate the optimum level of navy bean flour that can be added to steamed bread.”

Navy bean flour is already added to food products in Europe, but little is known about it in Asian countries and Chinese industry representatives at the conference were asking her for samples, Anne says. A researcher from Mexico involved in making steamed bread was also interested in details of the study.

To see Peter’s and Anne’s posters, go to under the Pulse section.

“The whole idea of research at Cigi is that it’s applied, meaning it’s very directly related to the industry,” says Peter. “So by going to this conference we’re in touch with industry, know what the questions are, what they need. Networking is a huge thing too, meeting new companies and suppliers. Also, our partners in a number of projects usually attend, so it’s an opportunity to meet with them face to face.”

Approved methods technical committees

Elaine Sopiwnyk was recognized for her outstanding contributions in analytical methodology.

Elaine Sopiwnyk was recognized for her outstanding contributions in analytical methodology.

Elaine Sopiwnyk, Cigi’s Director of Science and Innovation, was presented the Edith A. Christensen Award for Outstanding Contributions in Analytical Methodology at the AACCI conference. The award recognizes scientific contributions in analytical methodology and for leadership in approved methods testing. Elaine currently chairs AACCI’s Physical Methods Testing Committee and sits on other technical committees including the Approved Methods Technical Leadership, and Methods for Grain and Flour Testing.

Also attending the conference from Cigi were Kristina Pizzi, Manager of Analytical Services; Esey Assefaw, Head of Asian Products and Extrusion Technology; Yvonne Supeene, Head of Baking Technology; and Yulia Borsuk, Technical Specialist, Baking Technology. Cigi staff sit on the following AACCI approved methods technical committees: Approved Methods Technical Leadership, Asian Products, Bread Baking Methods, Pasta Products Analysis, Physical Testing Methods, and Pulse and Legume.