The rising interest in Pulses

Services
Our Commitments
Innovation Center
R&D

1 Jul 2019

Pulses play an important role in the transformation of the food industry. They are affordable while providing  healthy and sustainable food. Pulses are a delicious and environmentally friendly way to answer consumers’ latest food expectations. 

What are pulses?  

Pulses are part of the legume family, but only refer to crops harvested as dry grains, which are distinguished from leguminous oil seeds by their low fat content (like peanuts or soybeans).

The pulse is composed of a seed coat, which protects the seed and contains fibres, minerals and antioxidants, and a storage cotyledon which contains all the nutrients for the seed, like protein, minerals, lipids and fibre. This is why pulses are seen as very healthy by most consumers.

In research done by Puratos in three countries, 94% of consumers think they know a little bit about pulses, and 1 in 2 respondents perceive pulses as being healthy. In the meantime, many consumers actually struggle to discern which ingredients belong in this category, showing that there is a real opportunity to educate people on the benefits of these products. Chickpeas and lentils are the most common ones (Consumer research Puratos, data Lebanon, Turkey & Netherlands, 2018)

The key challenge for every baker/chef in foodservice is to serve baked goods of a high quality level. One of the reasons for that is the difference in baking equipment. Bakers wouldn’t consider baking their bread or cake in a booster or combi-steam oven, but that’s the gear many foodservice kitchens depend on.

Besides the equipment, the physical surroundings in kitchens and bakeries are very different from each other. Bakeries are dry environments, whereas in a kitchen much more water is used during food preparations. A third important challenge is that in foodservice, sandwiches are often provided with fillings and refrigerated until they’re sold. Vital for the fillings, but disastrous for the quality of the bread.  

Rising interest in Pulses

Over the past years, sustainability has become a major food trend. With rising concerns about climate change, comes a rising interest in food sustainability. This trend has caused an increased interest in pulses, because they provide important nutrients like protein, B- & D-vitamins & minerals like iron which tend to lack in alternative diets like vegetarianism or veganism, in a cleaner label and more sustainable way. 

The popularity of products containing lentils, peas, beans, chickpeas or a mix has dramatically increased. Between 2012 and 2017, the number of products launch containing pulses has nearly tripled and is still growing (Mintel, Jan 2007 to Sept 2018, worldwide excl. India, Pulses in food category).

It is expected that by 2050, global pulse production could double again, providing the rapidly growing world with a much needed source of healthy, sustainable protein! (The Global Pulse Confederation, 2017) 

Pulses have actually been around for centuries, consumed by people all around the world

Why are pulses sustainable? 

Pulses have many benefits for our health & well-being and our environment:

·        Highly nutritious. Pulses are rich in protein, fibres and B-vitamins and contain a high level of minerals like iron and zinc. Additionally, they support heart and gut health ( FAO International Year of Pulses)

·        Sustainability. New varieties are resilient to climate change. Pulses are an important component of crop rotations, requiring less fertilisers than other crops and they are a source of protein with a low carbon and water footprint (https://iyp2016.org/themes/productivity-environmental-sustainability).

·        Promote biodiversity. The crop residue can be used to enrich the soil, improving its fertility and the diversity of life forms it hosts.

·        Food security. At a time where population growth is dramatic, food waste is a massive issue along with malnutrition. A report shows that about 75% of Millennials are bothered by food waste and about 50% of them would consume more bakery products if they were packaged in smaller portions. (https://www.bakeryandsnacks.com/Article/2019/05/01/Millennials-and-Gen-Zs-buy-bread-and-sweet-goods-weekly-ABA-report). Pulses have a low risk of waste as they can be stored for a long time. 

Get inspired by Pulses

If you are looking for a trendy & sustainable way to differentiate and expand your product range, get inspired by pulses and discover our Puravita Pulse bread. There are many applications to taste and we offer our expertise to help you create the best bread for your market.

Contact your local Puratos representative to set-up a meeting !