Nutritional benefits of pulses winning over consumers: survey

Almost two-thirds of European consumers welcome pulse-based ingredients in products, Ingredion claims

The nutritional benefits of pulses as part of the overall healthy eating trend is winning over consumers, a survey has found.

Almost two-thirds (65%) of European consumers welcomed the inclusion of pulse-based ingredients in products, according to the research.

Furthermore, nearly 90% of consumers could see benefits of pulses as ingredients and were found to associate pulses with multiple health benefits, including natural, low fat and nutritious, the survey by Ingredion revealed.

Chickpeas and lentils

Chickpeas (51%) and lentils (43%) were the most widely known pulse flours and proteins, followed by peas and fava beans.

Overall, 56% of respondents thought pulses were natural and healthy, 38% saw them as high in fibre and more than a quarter of respondents considered them to be a good source of minerals and vitamins.

“Pulses had associations with a variety of health benefits, but we were surprised by the level of awareness of adding pulses to products – and not just in their whole form,” said Janin Zippel, European product manager for pulses and rice at Ingredion.

‘Continuing demand for natural’

“This could be down to the continuing demand for natural, more nutritious products but also the growing interest in vegetarian and vegan diets.”

Meanwhile, the UK-based Processors and Growers Research Organisation (PGRO) is to participate in a major legume study after winning support from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research programme.

PGRO will act as a knowledge exchange within the TRUE (TRansition paths to sUstainable legume-based systems in Europe) project, which aims to increase the adoption of legume-supported production systems.

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