Cigi study shows milling method affects quality of yellow pea flour

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Lindsay Bourré at the AACC International annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Lindsay Bourré at the AACC International annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The addition of yellow pea flour as an ingredient in breads usually baked with 100% wheat flour increases protein and dietary fibre; however, the milling process can affect the quality of both the pea flour and end product, according to research conducted at Cigi.

Results of a Cigi study on the influence of milling method on the properties of pita bread made with whole and split yellow pea flours were presented recently in a poster at the American Association of Cereal Chemists International annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“Pulse flours interfere with gluten development so are easier to incorporate in flat breads such as pitas,” says Lindsay Bourré, a technical specialist in Cigi’s pulse area and primary author of the poster. “We’ve already evaluated pulse flours in tortillas which worked out as well. They can also be used in pan breads (which require more gluten) but at lower levels.”

Overall the study results showed 30% yellow pea flour can be incorporated successfully into a typical pita formulation to improve protein and dietary fibre content.  In addition, pitas made with yellow pea flour were more golden in colour.

The study examined the effect of milling method on the quality of the yellow pea flours and pita bread made with 70% wheat flour and 30% yellow pea flour. The pita bread was compared to a control sample made with 100% Canada Western Red Winter wheat flour. Four types of milling methods were used and compared:  hammer, stone, pin, and roller. The different methods produced whole and split yellow pea flours with different physical and functional characteristics.  Whole yellow pea flours had larger particle sizes and greater water absorption capacities compared to split flours. 

“Water absorption capacity is greatly affected by the use of whole or split yellow pea flour,” she says. “And all of this can affect how somebody works with a baked product.”

Because the different flours may each have different water absorption capacities, the next step in Cigi’s research will be to calculate the optimum water absorption according to flour type and milling method, says Lindsay.  “In this research we based water absorption on the dough handling properties for the flours and it has given us a basis for further investigation.”

Lindsay adds that the poster and other pulse work Cigi presented at the AACC International meeting drew a lot of attention. “I actually had more traffic for a poster than I have ever had. Pulses seem to have boomed this year as people are taking more interest.”

Click to download a copy of the poster.