New pea product boosts functional fiber range

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

SunOpta Ingredients Group is expanding its range of functional fibers to include organic and conventional pea fiber.

The new product, SunOpta Pea Fiber, is non-allergenic, non-GMO, and gluten-free and contains up to 90% dietary fiber, said the company. It will be produced by Best Cooking Pulses of Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada, with which SunOpta has forged a distribution agreement.

Pea fiber is approved by Health Canada as a novel fiber for inclusion in bakery and meat products to make dietary fiber claims. SunOpta’s product has a bland flavor, light color and smooth texture making it an excellent for fiber fortification, claimed the company.

It can be incorporated into a wide variety of foods including nutrition bars, breads, crackers, pasta, meat, and meat substitutes.

Improved shelf life

Its moisture binding properties are said to provide improved shelf life in baked goods and higher yields in meat systems.

According to recent research, the dietary fiber-rich content of pea fiber or whole pea flour helped to regulate insulin in overweight adults with elevated cholesterol levels. Researchers at the University of Manitoba’s Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and

Nutraceuticals showed that 12 grams of pea fiber or 53 grams of pea flour per day resulted in significant reductions in fasting insulin levels and decreased insulin resistance. The study focused on pea fiber and whole yellow pea flour provided by Best Cooking Pulses.

Doug Shreves, president of SunOpta Ingredients Group, said: “We continually seek to expand the company’s healthy ingredient solutions. Our new relationship with Best Cooking Pulses is a major step in continuing to provide nutritious and functional fiber products for our customers​.”

Allergen-free

Trudy Heal, president of Best Cooking Pulses, added: “Our pea fiber is a natural, allergen-free functional fiber with proven health benefits that fits well into the SunOpta fiber portfolio​.”

Pea fiber is a highly sustainable, claims the company. Made from the hulls of field-dried peas, pea fiber is a by-product of pea splitting. Pea crops are un-irrigated and the manufacturing process uses little water in the cleaning, splitting and milling into fiber.

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