Pulses are sneaking increasingly undercovered around!
Pasta, cookies and snack bars are about to be taken over by…. pea flour; bread, ice cream and even chocolate by lupines. And the prospects are quite promising: The protein of eg. the lupine seed is an interesting substitute for animal protein sources (like eggs and milk), when a lactose intolerance or high cholesterol is present.
At this years International Green Week Berlin, the world’s biggest fair for food and agriculture, the food chemistry institute of the University of Hamburg offered some covert food samples made with pea flour in comparison to wheat flour. As I found out, my favourites actually were all pea flour products…
This product development on legumes (= beans/peas/lupines) is part of a campaign by the German Federal Government for the enhancement of protein crops in Germany. Legumes are of special interest because of their unique particularity: They fix nitrogen from the air through rhizobia into the root zone and fertilize the soil. This allows a significant reduction of artificial fertilizer and greenhouse gas emissions, accompanied with the protection of soil and water.
An increased domestic cultivation of legumes could play a key role for a modern and sustainable agri-food sector. Besides the benefits for human nutrition, livestock feed would be more independant from imported soy meals, and the biodiversity in agricultural landscapes enhanced. The only problem so far: The cultivation of legumes does not seem to be profitable enough. Its research and development costs are too high in relation to the market’s capacity to generate returns….