Bakers Journal

Major boost for Cigi pulse research

January 23, 2015
By Bakers Journal

Jan. 23, 2015, WINNIPEG – The government of Canada is making a major investment in support of the Canadian International Grains Institute’s applied research work into optimizing the nutritional quality of pulse flours through the milling process and application as value-added ingredients in commercial food products.

The Hon. Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced today at Cigi in Winnipeg funding of up to $959,918 from the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP) (2014-19) for Cigi’s Advancing Pulse Flour Processing and Applications project to March 31, 2019.

“We welcome this funding from the government of Canada which shows their commitment to the pulse work that we do at Cigi,” says Cigi CEO JoAnne Buth. ”It allows us to further our applied research activities with pulses as value-added nutritional ingredients, which also helps to promote their use on behalf of farmers and industry.”

The Advancing Pulse Flour Processing and Applications project will build on the knowledge gained from Cigi’s Pulse Flour Milling and Utilization Project completed last year, supported by the CAAP initiative for 2010-14, which investigated whether milling methods affected pulse flour and end-product quality. The current project will focus on the effect of milling processes on pulse flours and how to maintain or improve the flours to meet nutritional goals in commercial food products. These nutritional targets include reducing glycemic index or increasing protein content.


“The challenge of the project will be to maximize the nutritional benefits of pulse flours while maintaining functional quality of the ingredients,” says Heather Maskus, Project Manager, Cigi Pulse Flour Milling and Food Applications. “The flours will be tested in food products that are widely consumed and can benefit nutritionally by including pulses in their formulations.”

The project is significant in its support for Canada’s pulse industry which serves the needs of more than 150 markets around the globe, she says. “Canada is the world’s largest exporter of lentils and peas, and one of the world’s top five exporters of beans. Pulses are an excellent source of nutrition, with studies showing they contribute to heart health by reducing LDL cholesterol levels, are low in glycemic index, and high in fibre and protein.”

The project will also be supported by contributions from the industry, including Pulse Canada which has already committed $527,000.

Cigi is an independent market development institute created in 1972. More than 39,000 people representing grain, oilseed, pulse and special crops industries from 115 countries have participated in Cigi programs and seminars. Cigi’s mission is to create a global advantage for Canadian field crops through the delivery of technical expertise, support and customized training to the domestic industry and customers around the world. Cigi is funded by farmers, the government of Canada (AAFC) and industry partners.

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