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Versatility and Goodness of Pulses Showcased at Institute of Food Technologists Conference (PCN Fall 2016) SEP 19 2016 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News

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

APG representatives eagerly explored the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting and Food Expo with a pulse focus in July. The convention in Chicago billed itself as IFT16: Where Science Feeds Innovation, the largest annual food science forum and exposition in the world.

Foods with pulses as ingredients seemed to be a trend for many of the companies on the expo floor. Highlights included: faba bean flours (flavoured and deflavoured), pea syrups in ‘ketchup’, extruded products, puddings, flakes, starches and a continued emphasis on clean label and protein.

Canada was represented by Pulse Canada in partnership with the US Dry Pea and Lentil Council, which shared a booth and showcased how pulses could be included in formulations, distributed technical sheets and shared contacts for processors from across North America that could provide pulse ingredients to food companies.

Another highlight was the Pulse Brand launch held on Monday, July 18. At the launch, media, influencers, and the food industry joined together to learn about the benefits of pulses being high in protein, excellent fibre, low in fat, full of nutrients and possessing fantastic properties for various food processing uses like foaming, gelling, breading, coating, extrusion, flour uses, etc. In addition, promotion began of the offering of the brand image that industry has started to build collateral around to promote the food and its attributes. Read more about the brand on page 7.

Finally, on July 19, the IFT Cooking Up Science LovePulses Showcase was held. Student competitors from across the globe presented their unique pulse ingredient products to the convention audience and shared the development of their products. For the event, Canada had invited the winners of the Mission: ImPULSEible national championship.

The first place student team was offered the chance to present their product at IFT, however, there was a conflict in their schedule and the second place team was invited to attend. This meant that students from the University of Alberta who created BiotaGelata, a gelato type product with beans were on stage in Chicago to share their product and provide samples to taste. The students chatted with processors about their product. Read more about BiotaGelata on page 33.

Other products from the global participants included: Bean Jam, Lentil Coconut Cookies, Indian snack foods, and Southwest Street Tacos.

Thousands of people attended IFT, including food processors, ingredient providers, representatives from different countries and their food companies, market research firms (Innova Market Insights and Mintel), food safety specialists, packaging and shipping suppliers, ingredient suppliers, national organizations, researchers, food technologists (Dr. Bob Tyler of the University of Saskatchewan), medical researchers (APG grant recipient Dr. John Seivenpiper and Dr. David Jenkins – both renowned in diabetes research) and students.

Food scientists, R&D professionals, suppliers, marketers, and others from around the globe annually join news reporters at this event to learn about the driving forces behind the innovations and trends affecting consumers, as well as the growers, processors, regulators, and researchers who contribute to the food supply, both in the U.S. and abroad.

Experts from industry, government agencies, and research institutions provide their unique insights during more than 100 education sessions and 1,000 presentations covering topics ranging from new health benefits, safety, and product innovations to the latest consumer favourites, fears, and trends. For more information about this annual event, visit