Pulse Ingredients as Healthier Options in Extruded Products
Pulse flours and outer pea hull fiber offer nutritional advantages over traditional flours and starches used in extruded products. Pulse flours are high in protein and micronutrients and, depending on whether they are made from whole or split seeds, contain high levels of fiber. The levels of starch present in pulse flours, although lower than those in traditional ingredients such as cornmeal, allow for moderate to good expansion of end products. Flour specifications should be considered when selecting pulse flours because milling method can impact both flour particle size and functionality. Yellow pea flour, which had higher levels of starch, showed greater expansion properties than lentil and chickpea flours. The addition of a coarser fiber fraction (outer pea hull fiber) to yellow pea flour, when blended at inclusion levels of 5 and 10%, resulted in minimal changes to the expansion properties of directly expanded products, while still enhancing fiber levels. Challenges encountered when including pulse ingredients in formulations for directly expanded products can be offset by adjusting feed material ingredients and extrusion parameters.