Pea flour could create tasty low-GI foods: Study

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition Flour

Whole yellow pea flour could be used to create low-GI foods with similar sensory characteristics to whole wheat flour, according to a new study from the Journal of Food Science.

There are several reasons why pulses hold particular appeal for food manufacturers: They are readily available, low-cost, and provide dietary benefits, being low in fat, and high in fiber, antioxidants and protein. However, their use as food ingredients has so far been restricted due to unfavorable sensory characteristics.

Researchers from the University of Manitoba’s Richardson Center for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals examined whether it was possible to lower glycemic response (a rise in blood glucose) by using whole yellow pea flour in formulations – as has been shown with the consumption of whole pulses – while providing a flavor that would be acceptable to consumers. A lower glycemic response decreases the demand for insulin, thereby reducing the risk of type-2 diabetes.

“WYPF can be used as a functional ingredient to produce novel low-glycemic foods with favorable sensory characteristics,”​ the authors wrote.

The researchers used either whole yellow pea flour (WYPF) or whole wheat flour as the primary ingredient in three products: Pasta, banana bread and biscotti.

As hypothesized, the banana bread and biscotti with WYPF produced a lower glycemic response than baked goods containing wheat flour. However, the WYPF-containing pasta showed no significant difference. The researchers suggested that the pasta formulation, which contained 30 percent pea flour, could have contained an insufficient quantity of the pulse to produce an effect.

The study’s subjects were 22 healthy men and women between the ages of 22 and 67. Blood glucose levels were tested 30, 60,120 and 150 minute after consuming each food product.

They also allocated ratings to each product based on appearance, taste, smell, texture and overall acceptance.

Banana bread and biscotti with whole yellow pea flour were readily accepted by the subjects for all of their sensory characteristics. The WYPF pasta fared similarly to wheat flour pasta, it was given a slightly lower rating in terms of smell.

“Unpleasant sensory traits associated with WYPF were easier to manipulate in the baked products through the use of secondary ingredients that possess favorable sensory characteristics,” ​the researchers wrote.

They concluded that whole yellow pea flour could be used to make tasty, low-glycemic foods that could help prevent and manage type-2 diabetes.

Source: Journal of Food Science

Vol. 74, Nr. 9, 2009, pp. 385-389

“Glycemic Responses and Sensory Characteristics ofWhole Yellow Pea Flour Added to Novel Functional Foods”

Authors: C. Marinangeli, A. Kassis, and P. Jones.

Related topics R&D Cereals and bakery preparations

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