Skip to content

Pulse-Rich Gelato Takes the Cake at 8th Annual Alberta Mission: ImPULSEible Competition (PCN Winter 2016) JAN 11 2016 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News

This article appeared in the Winter 2016 issue of Pulse Crop News.

The University of Alberta team that created a lactose-free and gluten-free gelato made with fermented white beans with a chickpea flour and pea protein crumble were thrilled to win the special International Year of Pulses Mission: ImPULSEible competition.

“It’s great after all these years of work to finally feel like you’re making a difference,” said Team Leader Austen Neil. “Pulses are so versatile and so nutritious that you just need to think outside the box.”

Neil and fellow U of A Food and Nutrition students Sujata Patel, Chandre Van de Merwe and Nicolle Mah offered up their pulse-rich gelato called BiotaGelata as one of three teams of Alberta students that accepted the challenge to include pulses in traditional foods in the most innovative way for the Alberta Pulse Growers’ Mission: ImPULSEible on Nov. 30.

The winner of this special 8th annual competition in honour of International Year of Pulses 2016 (IYP 2016) will go on to represent Alberta in the national competition to be held at the February Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology (CIFST) conference in British Columbia. Neil said that her team will likely tweak their product and possibly introduce a new flavour for the national competition.

If the team wins nationals, they will go on to have an all-expenses paid trip to Chicago for the international competition that is being held in July in honour of International Year of Pulses 2016.

“We’ve never had a global competition before,” said Debra McLennan, APG’s Food and Nutrition Coordinator. “Congratulations to BiotaGelata from the University of Alberta on creating an innovative product that will represent Alberta well at nationals, and hopefully go on to represent Canada at the international event. All of the student products presented at the Alberta competition would have done Alberta proud at nationals, but there could be only one first place winner, as determined by expert judges.”

Alberta’s post-secondary students were challenged to create a delicious and healthy food product made from pulses (whole dry peas, beans, lentils or chickpeas) that showcases innovation in traditional foods to celebrate IYP 2016. Traditional foods in this case could range from products that North Americans typically enjoy to international cuisine that may not yet have pulses in them.

Part of this mission is for teams to show how they could creatively incorporate pulses into their food product, positively impact the overall nutrition, and effectively market it to the industry. Whole pulses and pulse ingredients (flours, fractions) could be used. Three teams from three different post-secondary schools accepted the mission and ran with it.

The BiotaGelata team won the opportunity to work with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s Food Processing Development Centre in Leduc to scale up their product for the national competition. Second place earned a $750 prize, and $250 went to the third place team.

Second place went to NAIT Culinary Arts student Stephanie Stolk who presented Cinnamon Delights, a gluten-free, vegetarian doughnut mix made with chickpea flour that can also be used as a cake mix.

Third place went to Portage College Culinary Arts students Clarissa Cardinal, Tara Collins and Kali Brodbin who created Freak Sante, a roasted chickpea and haskap power bar made with roasted chickpeas, lentil puree, and pea protein that recreates the traditional native pemmican.

The judges for the provincial competition were Wanda Aubee of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s Food Processing Development Centre, Shirzad Chunara from Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, and Peggy LeSueur of Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions and Board Chair of Calgary Co-op.