Parisian Pastries from Prairie Pulses

The rich food value of dried peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas has been known for centuries — their collective name, “pulses”, comes from puls, a Latin word that means both “seeds” and “porridge”. Pulses are widely consumed both as animal feed and in savoury dishes for humans around the world, and research continues to expand their uses.

Some of those new uses are remarkable — the crowning achievement of this project was to create a nut-free, egg-free French macaron using navy bean flour as a butter substitute.

Best Cooking Pulses is a family-owned Canadian processor of pulse crops grown in Manitoba. Established in 1936, it keeps a close eye on developments in new ways to use pulses. Thanks to funding from the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Best Cooking Pulses partnered with Red River College’s culinary research program to investigate the possibility of using pulse flour in baking to replace eggs.

One student, Alyssa Houston, was brought in to work on the project as part of her culinary work experience placement — the first time a culinary student has gained work experience through research rather than in food service. She even had the chance to demonstrate the research in public, at table-top discussions with industry. After the project, she went on to a job in food manufacturing, helping the company with production as well as recipe creation using the skill from this project.

Best Cooking Pulses is using research from this project to showcase the advantages and versatility of navy bean flour at conferences (such as the Research Chef Association), and to prepare papers demonstrating this new application for bean flour to clients and potential clients.

Industry: Agriculture | Food
Funded by: Engage Grant, NSERC

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Red River College (RRC) is Manitoba’s largest institute of applied learning. The institution is renowned for providing accessible, innovative, applied learning and research in an... Learn more