Protein Industries Canada, a not-for-profit organisation aiming to position Canada as a source of quality plant proteins, has announced a collaboration with several plant-based and gluten-free brands. The organisation will work alongside Avena Foods, Daiya Foods, Big Mountain Foods, Bakenology, and The Village Bakery to research and develop new applications for pulse flours.
The research will focus on the proprietary tempered flours developed by Avena Foods, a producer of gluten-free oat and pulse ingredients. According to Avena, what sets the flours apart is that they are thermally treated to improve their taste and functionality. It’s hoped that they will help to meet the growing demand for plant-based products.
Canada is well-positioned to produce the flours, with a strong supply chain. But more research is needed to establish how they can be used most effectively.
The research aims to discover which types of pulses are most suitable and what their nutritional and functional attributes are. It will also look for ways to optimise processing and formulate end products.
Plant-based companies such as Big Mountain Foods are interested in using the pulse flours to produce meat substitutes. In contrast, brands like The Village Bakery are hoping to use them to make vegan-friendly versions of their existing products — currently, eggs are often used as a binder in gluten-free foods.
As well as meat substitutes and egg replacements, Avena hopes the flours can be used in noodles, confectionery, sauces, baby food, and more.
“More and more people are discovering the myriad benefits of plant-based eating,” said Daiya Foods’ Chief Innovation Officer Paul Wong. “With partners like Avena Foods, we can continue raising the bar to deliver a superior product experience for our consumers. We want everyone to know how easy and delicious it can be to incorporate plant-based options into everyday menus.”