Pulse proteins are those that come from legumes such as peas, chickpeas, lentils, and various types of beans. They are a good source of protein, are low in fat, high in fiber, and contain exceptional amounts of amino acids such as lysine, leucine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, and arginine. Amino acids are key in helping the body grow and function properly.
It’s no wonder then, that nutritionists are using pulse protein flours and concentrates to produce alternatives for high-carbohydrate foods such as pasta. These next-generation pasta products are high in protein, low in fat, and have a low glycemic index, which is especially helpful for people with diabetes. The glycemic index is a relative ranking of how foods affect blood glucose levels after consumption. Foods with a low index level are more slowly digested, absorbed, and metabolized, slowing the need (and production) of insulin.
This is exciting news for pasta lovers who are on low-carbohydrate diets. While carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy, consuming too much of it without the proper amount of exercise to “burn it off” can cause the carbs to store as fat in the body. Alternative pasta are also good for vegetarians and vegans who are looking for diverse ways to get the protein their bodies need without resorting to traditional sources, such as chicken, beef, and pork.
The trick to creating high-yield flours and concentrates from pulse proteins is to maximize the protein yield without compromising the protein functionality or purity. Dry separation processes have proven to provide the best results compared with wet separation processes, as the native functionality of the proteins are retained, using a lower amount of energy and no fresh water source is necessary.
ST Equipment & Technology’s triboelectrostatic separation process is a dry method capable of separating particle sizes down to very fine levels. This is not only important to maintaining the integrity of the proteins from processed pulse products, it also provides a higher level of usable materials from the other fractions removed from the source. For manufacturers looking to maximize their yields and take advantage of the new alternative to traditional pasta flours, this is an economical way to get more for less.