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The rising interest in Pulses

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Innovation Center

14 Jul 2020

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.

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.

The top 5 benefits of pulses:

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

  • Trendy: Over the past years, sustainability has become a major food trend. This trend has caused an increased interest in pulses. The popularity of products containing lentils, peas, beans, and chickpeas has dramatically increased: over the past 10 years, the use of pulses has nearly tripled! . It is expected that global pulse production could still double by 2050, providing the rapidly growing world with a much needed source of healthy, sustainable protein.
  • Highly nutritious: Pulses provide many important nutrients. They are rich in fibres and B-&D-vitamins and contain high levels of minerals like iron, potassium and zinc. Consuming one cup of cooked pulses brings you more than half the recommended fibre-intake for the day. They are also an important source of plant-based protein and amino-acids. These tend to lack in alternative diets like vegetarianism or veganism, which is why consuming pulses can compensate deficiencies in these elements.
  • Sustainability: New varieties are resilient to climate change. Pulses are also 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.
  • Promote biodiversity: Pulses positively impact soil quality in 3 ways: first, they help to fix nitrogen in the soil which results in higher yields. In addition, pulses feed microbes in the soil and the crop residue can be used to enrich the soil as well, thus improving its fertility and the diversity of life forms in it.
  • Food security: Pulses are a highly nutritious affordable and sustainable source of nutrients . At a time where population growth is dramatic and food waste is a massive issue along with malnutrition, pulses are a great solution to feed millions of people. A study conducted amongst millennials shows that 75% of them are bothered by food waste . In addition, pulses have a low risk of waste as they are dry and can be stored for a long time.

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

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 !

Article references:

  • Consumer research Puratos, data Lebanon, Turkey & Netherlands, 2018
  • Innova Database, Jan 2010 to Dec 2019, worldwide, Pulses as ingredient in food category.
  • The Global Pulse Confederation, 2017