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Team Alberta Churned Out Another Delicious Flavour of BiotaGelata for LovePulses Showcase (PCN Fall 2016) SEP 19 2016 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News

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

Team Alberta’s BiotaGelata was a rich and creamy addition to the international LovePulses Showcase in Chicago, and sparked several conversations with processors about possible commercialization.

The team achieved a strong second place finish in the national Mission: ImPULSEible competition, and when the Ontario team that placed first couldn’t attend the International Year of Pulses event in Chicago due to a scheduling conflict, Pulse Canada invited the BiotaGelata team to present its innovative product on the world stage.

“This was an amazing trip that would not be possible without the Alberta Pulse Growers,” said Team Alberta member Chandre Van de Merwe. “Thank you for all your help with our product and making it possible for us all to go to Chicago and Vancouver!”

APG sponsored the travel expenses for Van de Merwe and her teammates, Austen Neil and Nicolle Mah, to attend the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting and Food Expo in July. The University of Alberta Nutrition and Food Science graduates presented their non-dairy, gluten-free gelato made with fermented white beans.

“This was such an incredible opportunity for the team and such a nice reward for all of the hard work they put in,” said APG Food and Nutrition Coordinator Debra McLennan. “To take a product that is so innovative and showcase that product at an event that is all about food innovation opens up a world of opportunity for this team. I didn’t see any other products at IFT that could take pulses and ferment them like that.”

Seven student teams from six countries across the globe presented their unique pulse ingredient products to the convention audience and shared the development of their products. The student products presented from around the world included bean jam from Swaziland, chips from India, lupin crisps from the United Kingdom, chickpea cookies from Australia and taco dishes from two U.S. teams.

McLennan noted that the Team Alberta offering was unique even on the show floor.

“There were a lot of frozen dessert type items – whether ice cream, ice milk or other frozen products – but there wasn’t anything like what the Alberta team created,” she said. “To me, that highlighted how innovative they were in that product.”

A new flavour of BiotaGelata was unveiled for the LovePulses Showcase. The original Maple Walnut, was joined by Passion Fruit, which was a hit at nationals, as well as the new Raspberry Lemonade.

“It was so good,” McLennan said. “Every time they make a batch, they’re always tweaking. They’ve been approached in a couple of different areas to take BiotaGelata further. They’ve been talking to a lawyer to determine their best option.”

Winning the Alberta Mission: ImPULSEible competition brought with it the opportunity to scale up their product with the Food Processing Development Centre in Leduc, but the Alberta Agriculture and Forestry facility did not have the equipment needed to make gelato. McLennan said that Fiasco Gelato Shop in Calgary, which employs team member Neil, was instrumental in allowing Team Alberta to use their gelato making equipment to perfect the product and to order their supplies through the company supplier.

The BiotaGelata team credits the Mission: ImPULSEible experience with giving them many valuable contacts and experiences.

“All three Team Alberta members can’t say enough about how much they learned going through Mission: ImPULSEible,” McLennan said. “It took their university knowledge and gave it a real world spin.”