Warburtons, the United Kingdom’s largest bakery brand, is joining forces with the Canadian International Grains Institute on a unique multi-year pulse research project to produce healthier baked products and ultimately increase the use of pulse flours by the food industry.
The research builds on the technical expertise Cigi has developed over the past decade in collaboration with pulse growers and industry about the functionality and application of pulse flours, and reflects growing consumer demand for new and innovative bakery products.
Saskatchewan Pulse Growers has provided $1.8 million in funding for the project. Warburtons is contributing $680,000 of in-kind support as well as funds for the purchase of a pilot-scale fermentation tank at Cigi, and the governments of Canada and Manitoba are investing $270,000 through the Grain Innovation Hub. Western Grains Research Foundation and Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers have also provided funding of $158,000 and $25,000, respectively.
“By working with Warburtons as a commercial partner on this project, there is a direct link to an end-customer,” says JoAnne Buth, Cigi CEO. “It signifies the potential of pulses to the food industry as ingredients with nutritional benefits that can contribute to improved health and well-being of consumers.”
Warburtons has previously undertaken preliminary research at Cigi using pulse flours and the company believes the use of pulses can lead to products higher in protein and fibre, and lower in gluten and carbohydrates.
“Warburtons is proud to be partnering with Cigi on this exciting project to advance the use of pulses in the food industry,” says Adam Dyck, Warburtons Canadian Program Manager. “This new research underlines the increasing popularity of new and innovative bakery products amongst consumers and is testament to Warburtons’ commitment to future growth through diversification and innovation.”
As the primary funder of the research, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers sees the project as an important opportunity to increase the demand for pulse flours, leading to additional markets for pulse ingredients and greater economic returns for growers.
“We are pleased to fund this project,” says Carl Potts, Executive Director of Saskatchewan Pulse Growers. “Inclusion of pulse ingredients into baked foods helps address consumer interest in choosing nutritional ingredients in the foods they eat. This project also addresses market diversification which is an important focus for SPG, and Saskatchewan pulse growers are well-suited to meet the demand for improved nutrition in the food industry.”
Cigi is an independent not-for-profit market development institute created in 1972. More than 44,000 people representing grain, oilseed, pulse and special crops industries from 115 countries have participated in Cigi programs and seminars. Cigi’s mission is to increase utilization of Canadian grain and field crops through superior knowledge, technical expertise, industry leadership and collaboration, innovative processing solutions and targeted training to customers around the world. Cigi is funded by farmers, the Government of Canada (AAFC) and industry partners.