Speakers – June 2, 2022 – Concurrent 4B

Functionality of cereal and pulse biopolymers in food quality

Dr. Yongfeng Ai, Assistant Professor – University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Yongfeng Ai is an Assistant Professor and Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture Endowed Research Chair in Carbohydrate Quality and Utilization in the Department of Food and Bioproduct Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan. The primary goal of his Carbohydrate Chemistry and Utilization Program is to promote value-added utilization of carbohydrates in foods, feeds and bioproducts. Specific research areas include:

(1) Chemical, physical and enzymatic modifications of starch and other carbohydrates for novel industrial applications

(2) Development of resistant starch, dietary fiber, and low-glycemic foods and feeds to improve the health of humans and animals

(3) Use of novel processing methods to enhance functional properties and nutritional quality of carbohydrates in pulses and cereal grains


Differential sieving to diversify techno-functional attributes of pulse and cereal flours: A close look at seed microstructure

Yongfeng Ai a, * Fan Cheng a, Mehmet Tulbek b, Hrvoje Fabek c, G. Harvey Anderson c

a Department of Food and Bioproduct Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

b Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

c Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

*Presenter. Email address: yongfeng.ai@usask.ca

Flour includes an important category of ingredients that deliver functional and nutritional benefits in diverse food products. Pulses and cereals are two types of crops most commonly milled to produce flour ingredients in the agri-food industry. By nature, the microstructures of pulse and cereal grains are fundamentally different: pulse starch granules are entrapped in thick and strong cell wall structure in cotyledons, while such an integral cellular structure is largely absent in cereal cotyledons. In the current literature, there is a lack of understanding regarding how the different microstructures of pulse and cereal grains affect the functional and nutritional attributes of the milled flours. To tackle this research gap, pulse (pea and lentil) and cereal (barley and oats) seeds were firstly milled into whole flours and then sieved through a 0.15-mm screen to prepare coarse and fine flours in this study. Scanning electron microscopy imaging revealed that all the starch granules were embedded in compact protein/fiber matrix in coarse pea and lentil flours; in contrast, the starch granules were mostly liberated from the dense matrix structure in fine counterparts. Therefore, the pasting viscosities of the pulse flours were in a descending order of fine > whole > coarse. However, the three streams of barley and oat flours generally exhibited comparable pasting viscosities. With respect to the nutritional profiles, the starch contents of the three flour streams followed an order of fine > whole > coarse, whereas the dietary fiber contents showed the opposite trend for all the studied four crops. Of the same pulse type, the starch in the cooked fine flour was more digestible in vitro than those in the cooked whole and coarse counterparts; nevertheless, the different particle sizes did not display such a clear impact on the in vitro starch digestibility of the cooked cereal flours. Interestingly, the contents (except for oat samples) and in vitro digestibility of protein in the three flour streams of the same botanical origin were largely comparable. Overall, the pulse flours contained less starch but more protein and dietary fiber than the cereal flours of the same stream. The pulse flours also showed in vitro protein digestibility slightly higher than that of the cereal flours upon cooking. Our research explicitly demonstrated that both raw grains and milling processes can be utilized to develop flours of diverse functional and nutritional properties.


Janelle Courcelles, Director, Quality and Processing – Pulse Canada

Janelle Courcelles is the Director, Quality and Processing at Pulse Canada who oversees marketing, technical and research initiatives related to pulse quality for processing, milling, and fractionation. Ms. Courcelles holds a MSc in Food Science with expertise on genetic and environmental influences affecting end-use quality and analytical techniques to evaluate ingredient performance.


Faba bean as an emerging ingredient source

The plant protein sector has experienced significant growth in recent years as a result of increasing consumer demand for nutritious, sustainably sourced ingredients. Recently, faba beans have received attention as a raw material source for the production of pulse protein given the raw seed contains high concentrations of protein promising to improve protein extraction yield during processing. Traditionally, use of fava bean as a value-added ingredient has been limited due to the presence of tannins, convince and vicine.  However, breeding efforts in Canada to develop new varieties without these undesirable traits has made Canadian varieties suitable candidates for ingredient processing. This presentation will introduce Canadian faba beans as an emerging opportunity for the food & beverage sector.

Navneet Navneet, Ph.D. Candidate – University of Guelph

Navneet N. started her PhD research at the Department of Food Science (University of Guelph) in 2019. Her research focuses on unraveling the vast potential of dry beans as an alternate to wheat flour in bakery and non-bakery food industry. Navneet’s research not only aims to develop high-protein, plant-based, gluten-free food ingredients but also intends to explore new market opportunities to the Canadian-grown dry beans.


Effect of physical processing on the techno-functional properties of dry bean flour

Dry beans are rich in both macro- and micro-nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, phytochemicals, minerals, and vitamins. Canada is one of the largest producers of dry beans in the world. It exports 80% of its dry bean produce to 70 nations globally. Despite massive production numbers and the high nutritional quality of dry beans, the consumption of dry beans in Canada is limited. To increase domestic consumption of dry beans, it is essential to convert these beans into a form that can be incorporated into several products, thus, leading to increased product variety and, ultimately, increased consumption. Dry beans milled into flour can be used as a base ingredient in various bakery and non-bakery products. The utilization of dry bean flour in these food products is highly dependent on the flour’s functional properties. Unprocessed dry bean flour does not have the functionality to be used as a base ingredient. Therefore, in this project, we aimed to process dry bean flour using three industrially-relevant physical processing technologies – dry heat (DH), extrusion, and high hydrostatic pressure processing (HPP). The change in physicochemical and functional properties of dry beans was analyzed by compositional analysis, colour studies and the determination of pasting and rheological properties (aqueous slurries) of unprocessed and processed flour. The results showed that the processing did not alter, as expected, the total ash, starch, and protein content of the bean flours. However, the processing of bean flour resulted in the change of total digestible and resistant starch content in the differently processed flours. In addition, the processing did not only result in colour variations, but also the pasting profiles and rheological properties (aqueous slurries) of unprocessed, HPP, DH, and extruded flours were different, implying that all flour processing treatments led to changes in the protein/starch matrix. However, the properties that were achieved by each of the different types of processing on the bean flours were very different, which may open different opportunities for bean flours as highly functional, novel ingredients for food manufacturing and product development.

Fan Cheng, Ph.D. Candidate – University of Saskatchewan

Fan Cheng is originally from China. She completed her undergraduate study at China Agricultural University. After graduation, Fan moved to Canada and achieved her MSc degree in Food Science at University of Saskatchewan. During the MSc program, she was focused on the utilization of modified pea and corn starches for stabilizing emulsions. Currently, Fan is a second-year Ph.D. student at University of Saskatchewan. She is under the supervision of Drs. Yongfeng Ai and Thomas Warkentin. Her current research is related to heat-moisture treatment of pea starch and flour to reduce starch digestibility.


Effects of heat-moisture treatment on the structure, functional properties, and in vitro digestibility of wrinkled and round pea starches

Heat-moisture treatment (HMT) is recognized as an effective, clean-label, and relatively simple physical modification to alter the techno-functional attributes and improve the enzymatic resistance of starch. Previous studies have used HMT to effectively modify starches from various botanical sources. However, no studies have applied HMT to modify wrinkled and round pea starches, which are new types of starches possessing distinct functional and nutritional attributes for food and other industrial uses. This research aimed to: (1) modify isolated wrinkled and round pea starches under two temperatures, namely 110 and 130 °C, at a moisture level of 35% for 6.0 h; and (2) to compare the structure, functionalities, and in vitro digestibility of the native and HMT-modified pea starches. In particular, their pasting and gelling properties were measured at heating temperatures of 95 and 120 °C to gain an understanding of their behavior under normal and high-temperature food processing conditions. The pea starch granules formed large aggregates after the HMT, with obvious damage being found in some granules. X-ray diffraction patterns of the HMT-modified pea starches were not changed; however, the relative crystallinity of the HMT-modified starches gradually decreased as the HMT temperature increased. Generally, HMT significantly increased the gelatinization and pasting temperatures, but lowered the enthalpy changes, the pasting viscosities, and the gel hardness of the pea starches at both 95 and 120 °C cooking. The in vitro digestibility of the cooked pea starches was considerably decreased upon the HMT. For instance, the resistant starch content of cultivar MPG87 wrinkled pea starch was significantly elevated from 21.4% to 29.9%, which could be attributed to stronger physical interactions between starch molecules in the HMT-modified counterparts. The new findings from the current study will help the food industry identify new applications of the native and HMT-modified wrinkled and round pea starches.

Dr. Nasibeh Y. Sinaki, Post Doctoral Fellow – University of Manitoba

“Currently, I work as a post-doctoral research fellow at the Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences at the University of Manitoba (U of M). I received my PhD in Food Sciences from the U of M; and my MSc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tehran (Iran).

I am a food scientist and chemical engineer experienced in extrusion cooking, rheological analysis and mathematical modeling. During my professional experience, I have attempted to resolve the complex aspects of healthy food production challenges through different projects by examining the chemical, techno-functional and physical properties of food materials from ingredients to final product perspective. The flag of all projects is addressing this question: how does a process create food products with desire quality attributes as we manipulate the processing conditions and the type of ingredients? My mission in food science is production of sustainable nutritious foods such as meat analogue.”


Oxidizing agent-assisted extrusion: a novel technique to manipulate the techno-functional properties of pulse flours

Characterization and improvement of techno-functional properties of pulse flour is necessary for developing high quality pulse-based foods. To improve pulse flour techno-functionality, and thus add value to them as novel ingredients, the effects of using oxidizing agents during extrusion cooking were investigated for the first time in this study. Benzoyl peroxide, azodicarbonamide and compressed air were used as oxidizing agents during extrusion of a pulse flour. Benzoyl peroxide and azodicarbonamide concentrations used were 45 mg kg-1 and 150 mg kg-1, respectively. Pressurized air was injected into the extruder barrel at two injection pressures of 200 and 400 kPa. Three different extrusion barrel temperature profiles with the die temperatures of 95, 110 and 155℃ were used. The results showed that oxidizing agents and extrusion temperature greatly affected water solubility, water-binding capacity, emulsion capacity, emulsion stability, and pasting properties of yellow pea extrudate flours. More specifically, at a die temperature of 95℃, benzoyl peroxide and azodicarbonamide addition significantly increased emulsion capacity and emulsion stability, while air injection at 400 kPa increased water solubility, emulsion stability, cold, and trough viscosities. The results have proven that oxidizing agent-assisted extrusion is an effective approach to manipulate pulse flour techno-functionality. Our findings on enhanced techno-functionality open up a wide range of application opportunities for novel foods that are rich in pulse-based ingredients.