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National Mission: ImPULSEible Competition Awards Second Place to Pulse Rich Gelato Developed by U of A Students (PCN Spring 2016) MAR 29 2016 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News

The Alberta creators of BiotaGelata had a sweet experience at the national Mission: ImPULSEible competition in February as their pulse-based gelato was awarded second place.

As a result of their creativity and successful showing at the national competition, Pulse Canada has invited Team Alberta to the IFT conference in Chicago to participate in the innovative pulse product showcase and APG is going to provide the funding to support the team. Pulse Canada will have a booth at the IFT exhibition with a spot to showcase innovative Canadian pulse products.

“We are beyond excited,” said Team Leader Austen Neil. “We had fun participating in Mission: ImPULSEible, met a lot of key industry leaders and enjoyed the camaraderie of the other student teams. We are extremely grateful to Alberta Pulse for the opportunity.”

Neil and her fellow University of Alberta Food and Nutrition students Chandre Van de Merwe and Nicolle Mah created a non-dairy, gluten-free gelato made with fermented white beans as well as a chickpea flour and pea protein crumble which won the Alberta competition. The provincial win earned the team a spot at the International Year of Pulses Mission: ImPULSEible national competition in Burnaby, B.C. during the Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology (CIFST) conference.

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

Since winning the Alberta competition to include pulses in traditional foods in the most innovative way in November, the team worked with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s Food Processing Development Centre in Leduc to scale up their product for the national competition. As a result, the team served national judges two new flavours – Passion Fruit and Dark Chocolate Cassis – in addition to the original Maple Walnut.

“Congratulations to Austen, Chandre and Nicolle for creating a unique and innovative product showcasing Alberta pulses,” said Debra McLennan, APG’s Food and Nutrition Coordinator. “They wowed everyone at MI and CIFST with all three flavours of their BiotaGelata. Great job!”

McLennan was pleased to note that the team has gained interest at the retail level in the BiotaGelata product.

BiotaGelata’s product information states: “This product is high in probiotics and low in fat and sugar. The addition of pulses have provided a higher protein content that cannot be found in conventional gelato or ice cream. BiotaGelata was made to highlight the versatility of pulses and showcase their nutritional value.”

More information about BiotaGelata can be found on social media by searching for BiotaGelata.

The Alberta team won a $350 monetary prize for second place. The winner of the national competition was the University of Guelph team that created Fiberger, a high fibre meat extender containing red lentils, green peas and chickpeas. The Ontario team won the opportunity to travel to Chicago for the international competition that is being held in July at IFT in honour of International Year of Pulses 2016.

The other innovative pulse products created by post-secondary students from across Canada that competed in the national competition included Vital Impulse Bars from Nova Scotia, Pulse & Pomace Crisps from Quebec, Cocopea2 from B.C., Sensible Sauces from Manitoba.

The national competition was judged by author and tv personality Chef Vikram Vij; Daiya Foods Vice-President Paul Wong; Burnaby City Councillor Paul McDonell; and the University of Saskatchewan’s Dr. Michael Nickerson.