ADM strives to make unexpected products full of beans

By Jess Halliday in New Orleans

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Consumer, Consumer protection, Adm

ADM is launching a new range of bean powders and ground cooked
beans, which are intended to make it more convenient for consumers
to include beans in their diets - and easier for manufacturers to
use them in product formulations.

Beans are renowned as a good source of fiber, and can count towards daily targets of fruit and vegetable consumption. However there is a certain amount of consumer resistance to eating beans, as they have been seen as a niche product for vegetarians and health fanatics. In addition, preparing beans at home can be a time consuming process, as they need to be soaked overnight and cooked for a long time. At a time when convenience is a priority to many over-pressured consumers, this means beans may be overlooked as With its new ingredients made from black, red, navy and pinto beans, called VegeFull, ADM is looking to reduce these barriers by encouraging use of beans in products that would not normally be thought of as containing them. Gordon Gregory, VP and general manager of ADM Edible Bean Specialities, told FoodNavigator-USA.com that that using beans in bakery products could catch on. For instance, the ingredients can be disguised in foods such as pizza crusts and cookies that would not normally be carriers for beans. At the IFT trade show this week it is showcasing VegeFull in blueberry-almond cookies, and a panini. Other suitable applications include snacks, dips, salads and dry soup mixes. In all of these, the ingredients are said to have no effect on taste or texture. In technical terms, ADM's innovation has been rather simple, Gregory explained. It is doing the process that would normally be done by the end consumer at home - soaking and cooking the beans - and grinding them into a format that can be easily used by manufacturers in a variety of products. "Beans are nature's perfect food,"​ he said. "We get so complicated in what we do. This gives different options for manufacturers as well as consumers." ​ ADM's bean business make a small and un-sung part of its overall activities. It is, however, the sole supplier to canned bean company Bush Brothers, sourcing its beans from the US (the main growing states are Michigan, North Dakota, Minnesota, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming and California). Gregory explained, however, that encouraging bean consumption can bring benefits not only for the consumer, but also for sustainability. "Beans add nitrogen back into the soil, and don't take as much water out as other crops like corn, soy and wheat."

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