Pulse flour and fibre can improve the nutrition and sustainability profile of bakery food products like bread and biscuits.
Bakery products such as breads and biscuits are staples in diets around the world. Pulse ingredients such as pea and lentil flour provide an opportunity to complement wheat or other cereal grains, creating products with higher protein, fibre, mineral levels and the potential for gluten-free positioning.
In addition to improving the nutritional profile, reformulating traditional bakery products to include pulses can also lower the carbon footprint. For example, pan bread reformulated to include 15% Canadian pea flour or Canadian lentil flour had improved Nutrient Balance Scores* and greenhouse gas emissions.
Pulse Ingredients in Bakery
Commonly used ingredients include pea and lentil flours, protein isolates and concentrates as well as starches and fibres. Typical inclusion levels are varied. For example, pulse flours have been included in leavened bread at a level of 10-15% and have demonstrated acceptable quality; while applications such as flatbreads and crackers, where leavening is less of a concern, have the potential of 100% replacement. Studies have shown that adding just 30% pulse flours in biscuits and crackers can double fibre levels despite a gradual darkening effect.
Performance of pulse flours in baked goods will be impacted by how they were milled. Flour attributes such as flour particle size and distribution, or starch damage levels can influence functional properties of the flour from water holding capacity to emulsifying and foaming properties.
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