There has been an exponential increase in the global population over the years, propelling the need for robust food production. According to a report by the Government of Australia, the total household food consumption expenditure was at USD 92 billion for 2016-2017 period.
Induced by the escalating cases of obesity along with the need to make healthier dietary choices, pulse flour market size has showcased tremendous growth in due to high protein and fiber contents in the ingredient. According to a report by the CDC, between 2017 to 2018, the prevalence of obesity among U.S. adults was 42.4%. This has encouraged many people to consume low-carb and high-protein diets.
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Pulse flour is obtained from dried pulses that are refined to be used in different bakery items like bread, cookies, rolls, and muffins. The widespread demand for pulse flour is directly proportional to the increasing production of pulses in many parts of the world. In emerging countries such as India, pulses are extensively produced due to favorable soil and weather conditions.
Pulse flour is regarded as a functional food ingredient due to its gluten-free nature and the ability to improve the texture and shelf life of the food. These flours are increasingly being used in the wide bakery and snacks industry to increase their nutritional value and to enhance the flavor content of the product.
High demand for pea flour in the baking industry
As per a report by the Northern Pulse, every 10 grams of pea flour increases both dietary and protein fiber by nearly 2.5 grams and carries an amino acid profile that complements the cereal grains. Pea-based flour continues to gain robust demands from the bakery industry as consumers are constantly looking for healthier options that offer taste and greater nutritional value.
Pea flour is mostly used in cookies and bread at up to 5% to enhance the nutritional quality without affecting the sensory quality. Produced from yellow field peas after being roasted, pea flour is incorporated up to 10% in wheat flour to increase the water absorption qualities and to reduce the bread volume and cookie spread ratio.
The growing demand for bakery products primarily due to the increase in disposable income along with the long working hours has supported the use of pea flour in the industry. According to the Craft Bakers Association, the market for retail bakery products in the U.K. is rising at 2% pa, where the annual sales across the sector have risen to nearly USD 9 billion.
Rising cases of gluten allergy among people worldwide are supporting the consumption of pulse flour products as they are gluten-free. Many food companies are resorting to the production of gluten-free variants to suit the changing dietary palette. Along with being gluten-free, pulse-flour-based food products have gained popularity as they are non-allergen, GMO-free, and cholesterol-free making them highly preferred by consumers across regions like America.
Health benefits of chickpea pulse flour
In the North American region, due to the high cases of obesity and awareness among the people regarding the need to consume healthy alternatives, the demand for chickpea-based pulse flour has registered considerable demand. The consumers in this region are flowing a healthy diet, demanding low-carb, gluten-free, and whole-grain products.
The food companies across America are constantly aiming at improving their quality of food by providing healthier eating alternatives. Consumers are attracted to pulses since it meets various ongoing diet trends like gluten-free, plant-based protein, non-GMO, and clean label.
Some of the better-known benefits of chickpea supporting its use include its benefit to improve heart health, lowering diabetes, helps in weight loss, and helps in fighting allergies. Chickpeas are an excellent source of protein for vegans and vegetarians since they comprise 8 of the 9 essential amino acids.
Efforts to increase global presence by manufacturers
Pulse flour companies are striving to improve their presence in the market by partnering with other global giants in the form of strategic alliances, partnerships, mergers, and others.
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In February 2019, Archer Daniels Midland Co. or ADM acquired logistics provider Neovia for USD 1.86 billion creating a global leader in value-added products supply for production and companion animals. Other notable pulse flour companies include Parakh Agro Industries, Blue Ribbon, The Scoular Company, Bunge, Great Western Grain, and SunOpt, to name a few.
Driven by the various health benefits of flour since it adds protein, fiber, and micronutrients to the food product, the global pulse flour market is expected to witness considerable gains. There is increasing health-consciousness among the people along with the efforts undertaken by the producers to offer healthier alternatives.
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