Canadian International Grains Institute

Pulse Milling and Utilization Project

The next step in pulse product innovation.

Pulses are the dry edible seeds of legume crops which include peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas. Rich in fibre and protein, pulses have high levels of minerals such as iron, zinc, and phosphorous as well as folate and other B-vitamins. Turning these highly nutritious crops into healthy, functional flour ingredients is the goal of the Pulse Milling and Flour Utilization Project, now underway at Cigi.

Project history and funding

The Pulse Milling and Utilization Project is a four year project which began in 2010 and is scheduled for completion on March 31, 2014. The project is a partnership between Cigi and Pulse Canada with funding provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Agriculture Adaptation Program, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, Alberta Pulse Growers and the Canadian Special Crops Association.

Project objectives

  • Expand knowledge about pulse flours including composition and functionality
  • Increase understanding of how processing techniques and technologies affect pulse ingredient functionality
  • Optimize pulse flour use in specific food product applications
  • Work with commercial flour millers to evaluate milling processes
  • Work with food processors to overcome formulation challenges

Project outcomes

  • Understanding of pulse flour quality produced from different milling processes and technologies
    • Compositional properties (protein, fibre, starch)
    • Physical properties (particle size, colour)
    • Nutritional properties (protein, dietary fibre, micronutrients)
    • Functional properties (water and oil absorption, foaming capacity, emulsification, viscosity and pasting properties)
  • Knowledge of pulse flour usage in food applications
    • Insight into which flours and flour streams work best in different food products
    • Optimum levels of flour that can be used in various food products
  • Technology transfer and scale-up
    • Scale-up of milling processes and food prototypes
    • Technology transfer to milling companies and food manufacturers

How will the food industry benefit?

  • Commercial availability of pulse flours for use in food applications
  • Expanded options for using pulse ingredients
  • Technical support to assist with prototype development and formulation challenges
Contact us:
Heather Hill, M.Sc.
Project Manager, Pulse Flour Milling and Food Applications
Phone: (204) 984-3139
Lindsay Bourré, M.Sc.
Technical Specialist, Pulses and Special Crops
Phone: (204) 984-1063
The Pulse Milling and Utilization Project has been made possible by these organizations:
Cigi TV – Roller Milling Red Lentils

Cigi TV is a series of 3 minute videos about the innovative projects and programs that happen here at Cigi.

Our premiere video is showcasing the Pulse Flour Milling Project managed by Heather Maskus and her team’s work with milling red lentils in Cigi’s pilot scale roller mill. The purpose of the project is to study the differences in milling techniques which produces differing flour properties to be used in high value food products. This work is in support of an initiative to receive more value from various pulse crops.

Pulse Flour Opportunities in Bakery Products

Free Webinar Originally Presented November 5, 2013

This webinar focuses on the potential of using pulse flour as an ingredient in various bakery product applications. Solutions to challenges faced during product development of pan breads, cookies, tortillas and pita breads are discussed. Opportunities for the development of gluten free pitas, tortillas and pizza crusts are also presented.

Learn about:

  • How to select the right pulse flour for your product
  • How much pulse flour can be added
  • How adding pulse ingredients affects product processing

Advancing Pulse Flour Knowledge: Cigi Pulse Flour Milling Project

Free Webinar Originally Presented October 18, 2012

New research is revealing how pulses – peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas – can be used in different food product applications such as pasta, noodles, baked goods, snacks, tortillas, extruded products and more. Through the Pulse Milling and Utilization Project, the Canadian pulse industry is working to better understand the influence of milling technology on pulse flour quality and their implications on food product development. This webcast is targeted at food industry professionals in food technology, research, product development, quality assurance and marketing.

The following documents contain more information about the background and objectives of the Pulse Milling and Utilization Project:
Canadian Manufacturers of Pulse Flours and Fractions

Canadian Manufacturers of Pulse Flours and Fractions

Here is a handout with a list of companies in Canada who produce pulse flours and fractions. If you are interested in purchasing pulse flours and/or fractions you can look up the company closest to your location and contact them for more information. If you know of other companies in Canada that are not included in this handout please contact us and we’ll be sure to add them in a future update.