Another ALES win at pulse food development competition

    Students heading to nationals after winning regional contest

    By Helen Metella on March 31, 2015

    A bite-sized lemon tart with a crust made of beans and peas earned ALES food science students the top prize at the regional Mission ImPULSEible competition.

    The Peamon Tart, created by Kaixing Tang, Andrea Roman and Minghua Yu, has a traditional sour-sweet filling but its gluten-free shell is made from a mixture of canned pulses: red kidney beans, chickpeas, romano beans and great northern white beans.

    “There are a limited variety of gluten-free desserts in the market and we wanted to create a tasty and relatively healthier gluten-free dessert to meet market demands,” said Tang.

    The winning team was one of three, all from ALES, who participated in the annual competition. Second place was awarded to ALES students Min Lin, Cheng Shi, Shihao Wei and Stephanie Nash who created a Chickpea Nugget. The third ALES team, composed of Chau Chin Yo, Teresa Leone, Carmen Dam and Judy Kimotho, developed a pulscostti spread, a gluten-free, nut-free and dairy-free cookie butter made from chickpea flour.

    Perfecting the winning tart took between 30 and 40 hours.

    “We had to reformulate the recipe many times because the crust wasn’t what we expected (in terms of) the stability and the colour,” said Yu.

    Indeed, the first attempts used green pea flour, which not only produced an unappetizing green hue but a “beany” flavour. Switching to canned beans entailed developing an efficient grinding method.

    Vanessa Nieto, a PhD student and TA for the NUFS 450 course in food product development, provided feedback to all the groups as they developed their products.

    Competition judges evaluated the products based on sensory and health attributes, innovative use of pulses, and the feasibility and marketability of the food item. The Peamon Tart entry marketed pulse benefits through a website and a jaunty low-budget video Yu created.

    With the win under their belt, the Peamon Tart team advances to the national finals of Mission ImPULSEible, occurring in Calgary in June.

    Last year’s national winning team was also from ALES. It won the $2,500 grand prize with Pulse Pops, a frozen treat consisting of chickpeas, pea butter and soy nuts, wrapped with black bean and cacoa and rolled in chocolate and coconut. Previous national winners from ALES include a team that developed gluten-free chips in 2011.

    You can taste the winning Peamon Tart on April 1 during the presentation of NUFS 450 students’ capstone projects in the Ag-For lobby.

    Mission ImPULSEible is an annual competition staged by Pulse Canada and the Alberta Pulse Growers to promote the benefits of pulses, which are a low-fat source of protein that contain complex carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals such as iron, potassium, folate and B vitamins. Pulses, which include chickpeas, beans, peas and lentils, are Canada’s fifth most-grown crop.