RESEARCH into innovative processing techniques to add value to pulses is looking into the prospect of chickpeas sitting on the table alongside corn flakes and rice bubbles as a breakfast food.
Charles Sturt University (CSU) PhD candidate at the Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Functional Grains (FGC) at Wagga Wagga, Stephen Cork, is investigating the potential for pulses like chickpeas to be processed into flakes for breakfast and snack foods.
“Pulses like chickpeas are high in protein, low in fat and are a great source of minerals and B vitamins but many Australians don’t meet the recommended dietary intake of one to three serves of pulses per week,” Mr Cork said.
“The low consumption has been attributed to the time and effort required to prepare them, which typically involves soaking and boiling for over one hour, and the need to modify sensory attributes such as texture and flavour.
“My research is focused on understanding how processing technologies can support new product development, in particular for incorporating pulses into ready to eat breakfast foods, a market worth $33 billion globally.”
Working with the Woods Foods, a family owned pulse processor in southern Queensland, and Uncle Tobys, Mr Cork’s research aims to better understand the factors needed to turn chickpeas into flakes.
“The different chemical compositions of cereals and pulses means that there’s a need for research into how to apply a processing method like flaking to pulses,” Mr Cork said.
“My research is examining how pre-treatment, flake formation and secondary processing impacts the behaviour and quality of the product.
“It’s hoped the development of new products will diversify markets for Australian pulse producers to support further growth of the industry.”
Source: Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation (an alliance between Charles Sturt University and NSW Department of Primary Industries)
Mr Cork was awarded a scholarship by FGC. Funded by the Australian Government through the ARC’s Industrial Transformation Training Centres scheme, the FGC is administered by Charles Sturt University and is an initiative of the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation.