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CIGI funding to support Canada’s pulse industry


May 19, 2010
By Canadian International Grains Institute

May 19, 2010, WINNIPEG – Thanks to an investment of more than $1 million, the Canadian International Grains Institute (CIGI) will embark on a project exploring the processing of pulses into flours for use in food products.







Working with Pulse Canada, industry partners, and other food development centres across Canada, the four-year Pulse Flour Milling & Utilization in Food Products Project has been made possible with support from the Government of Canada, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, Alberta Pulse Growers, and the Canadian Special Crops Association.

“With
this investment of more than $1 million, CIGI will be able to help establish
Canada as a leader in pulse ingredient processing by developing an
understanding of how processing affects the functionality of pulse crops,” says
CIGI executive director Earl Geddes, adding that the project will enable CIGI
to provide superior technical marketing support to Canada’s pulse industry and
their customers worldwide. CIGI conducts research and technical support for the
Canadian field crop industry, offering expertise in milling, baking, extrusion,
and pasta and noodle production.

“CIGI is
already a recognized leader in wheat milling technology and this project will
not only add to our existing base of technical knowledge but will create a
centre of excellence in pulse milling, “ he says. “We appreciate this financial
commitment from the federal government, pulse growers of Western Canada, and
Canadian pulse exporters and processors and their recognition of the important
role pulse crops can play in the supply of ingredients in healthy food products
as well as for the sustainability of the environment.”

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Canada
is a global leader in the production and export of peas and lentils and a major
exporter of beans and chickpeas, says Geddes. The Canadian pulse industry has a
dominant share in pulse consuming markets around the world, exporting more than
$2.2 billion in pulses annually.

CIGI
and Pulse Canada will establish an Industry Steering Committee made up of key
industry stakeholders, finding partners and representatives from the food
processing and milling technology industries, says CIGI lead research scientist Dr. Linda Malcolmson. CIGI will lead
technical aspects of the project and co-ordinate its work with ingredient
processors and the food industry. Work will be conducted in conjunction with
other food development centres in the development of various food products.
Pulse Canada will undertake administration of the project.

“The
pilot-scale processing that this project offers is required to successfully
introduce pulse flours to the food processing sector,” she adds. “This work
will provide ingredient manufacturers and food companies with the technology
they need to be able to incorporate pulse flours into food products that will
deliver improved nutrition and health properties without adversely affecting
taste or texture.”

While
on a mission in China, Agriculture and
Agri-Food Minister Gerry Ritz announced the funding for this project. In addition, Pulse Canada
signed a memorandum of agreement with the Chinese Cereals and Oils Association
for new product development using pulses, including flours. China is currently
Canada’s third largest market for pulses with 334,000 tonnes of exports worth
$107 million in 2009.

“CIGI acknowledges the minister’s invaluable support for
the project and the linkages to commercial market opportunities it also offers
to industry for important markets like China,” says Geddes.

CIGI is
a non-profit market development organization with a vision to be the recognized
leader specializing in offering continuous advances in Canadian field crop
products to the world. CIGI activities include educational programs, applied
research, technical services and customer support. Core funding is provided by
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Wheat Board. Additional funds
and support are provided by other sectors of the agriculture industry.


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