Cigi to work with industry on pulse quality for International Year of Pulses

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IYoP2016-colour-enAs part of the United Nations’ declaration of 2016 as International Year of Pulses (IYP), Cigi will be showcasing its work with pulses and focusing on the quality needs of the food and processing industries.

From April 26 to 28, Cigi is offering industry invitees and other interested participants a two-day workshop on the ‘Practical Use of Pulses in Healthy Foods.’ The session will explore the health and nutritional benefits of pulses as food ingredients and how they are being used in food applications such as baked goods, pasta, and Asian products.

“We often get a lot of questions about pulse ingredient quality and defining what quality really is,” says Heather Maskus, Project Manager, Pulse Flour Milling and Food Applications at Cigi. “This will give us an opportunity to talk to food companies about what quality means to them, to establish a dialogue.”

For more than 10 years Cigi has been developing expertise with pulses as ingredients, working on pulse projects in its technical facilities on behalf of industry with an aim to increase pulse consumption and technical knowledge.

In recognition of IYP, pulse-related events are planned in Canada and other countries worldwide in an effort to draw global attention to the use of pulses. Themes being promoted include food security, nutrition, and innovation; creating awareness; market access and stability; and productivity and environmental sustainability. Pulse Canada, together with a committee of industry representatives, has been co-ordinating activity in Canada.

”This is also a learning opportunity for Cigi,” Heather says, noting that Cigi is focusing on the food security, nutrition, and innovation component of IYP. “Once we have the ability to demonstrate the use of a pea or lentil flour in a bread, for example, and hear directly from food companies on what they think about the quality, we hope to use that information to determine what we need to be delivering as an industry.”

Cigi will look at opportunities to relay feedback from this interaction with industry back to the growers, she says. “This can ultimately help provide direction in terms of pulse varieties that farmers may consider growing and how they can specifically market some of their yield into certain food applications.”

The Cigi workshop, funded by Saskatchewan Pulse Growers and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s AgriMarketing Program, is the first of a two-part series. The second part of the series, Processing Pulse Ingredients for Food Applications, will be hosted by POS Bio-Sciences and the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre September 21 to 23 in Saskatoon. This workshop will focus on pulse processing technologies including pilot-scale demonstrations of pulse fractionation and extrusion.

For more information on the workshops and International Year of Pulses, contact Madeleine Goodwin, IYP Canada Coordinator, Pulse Canada, at mgoodwin@pulsecanada.com or 204-925-3787.