Warburtons is a bakery brand in the United Kingdom.

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA — Warburtons, a bakery brand in the United Kingdom, and the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi) have joined forces on a multiyear pulse research project designed to create healthier baked foods and increase the food industry’s use of pulse flour.

JoAnne Buth Cigi ceo
JoAnne Buth CEO of Cigi.

“By working with Warburtons as a commercial partner on this project, there is a direct link to an end customer,” said JoAnne Buth, chief executive officer of Winnipeg-based Cigi, an independent, not-for-profit market development institute. “It signifies the potential of pulses to the food industry as ingredients with nutritional benefits that can contribute to improved health and well-being of consumers.”

Warburtons will contribute $680,000 of support as well as funds for the purchase of a pilot scale fermentation tank at Cigi. The Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, a pulse crop development board based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, has provided $1.8 million in funding. The governments of Canada and Manitoba are investing $270,000. The Western Grains Research Foundation, a farmer-funded and farmer-directed non-profit organization based in Saskatoon, has provided funding of $158,000. The Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers, a commodity organization based in Carman, Manitoba, Canada, has provided $25,000 in funding.

Adam Dyck Wharburton
Adam Dyck, Warburtons Canadian program manager.

“Warburtons is proud to be partnering with Cigi on this exciting project to advance the use of pulses in the food industry,” said Adam Dyck, Warburtons Canadian program manager. “This new research underlines the increasing popularity of new and innovative bakery products amongst consumers and is testament to Warburtons’ commitment to future growth through diversification and innovation.”

The use of pulses may lead to products higher in protein and fiber and lower in gluten and carbohydrates, according to Warburtons. Pulses are the dry edible seeds of legume crops and include peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas, according to Cigi.

Objectives of the three-year project include:

Developing a pulse database summarizing new and existing information on the compositional, functional and flavorful properties of pulses of greatest interest to the food industry;

Investigating the effects of pre- and post-milling treatments, particle size and storage;

Investigating the use of pre-ferment processing on the functionality and end product quality of dough containing pulse flours; and

Exploring the development of pulse-based bakery products that meet specific health and nutrition targets.

The database and research findings will be shared with pulse breeders, seed companies, growers, pulse processors and the food industry.