With greater awareness of coeliac disease and increasing demand for gluten-free diets, the production of gluten-free products is on the rise and pulses have an important role to play in such diets.
Gluten is comprised of proteins predominantly found in cereal grains such as wheat, rye and barley. While gluten proteins have unique characteristics which make them well suited for use in food - such as breads and baked goods as well as food products including cereals, soups and snack foods - consumption of foods with gluten can pose health problems for those with coeliac disease or gluten sensitivities. The treatment for coeliac disease involves strict adherence to a gluten-free diet.
Pulses are naturally gluten-free and a variety of gluten-free pulse grains, flours and starches can be substituted for wheat, rye and barley in product formulations. For example, there is gluten-free bread made with bean flour and gluten-free cookies containing pea starch, fibre and protein.
Also gluten-free products tend to be low in fibre as wheat bran cannot be used, so pulse fibre and flour can increase the fibre and protein content. They also can enhance the colour of baked products such as pastries and cookies.
If you would like to know more about the end uses of pulses - for the feed industry, for the food industry, for export markets, and for specialist uses, such as gluten-free diets - please contact one of the Pulses UK member companies listed on our web site. If you would like advice on the most appropriate Pulses UK member to contact, please visit our contacts page.