WINNIPEG, July 10, 2015 /CNW/ - A decadent, chocolate-coconut cake was crowned national champion in the eighth annual Mission:ImPULSEible food product development competition. The Celebration Coco Bean Cake, created by Samantha Smith and Danielle MacDonald of Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, is made from 100% pulse-based flour and topped with "frosting" made with coconut milk and pea fiber.
"The possibilities of creating new foods using pulses are endless," said MacDonald, "and we wanted to play up their versatility by putting them in something most people wouldn't think of – a sweet dessert."
"When we entered the competition, we were really excited about the potential of pulses as a food category," said Smith. "They are filled with important nutrients, and to incorporate them into something fun and celebratory like a chocolate cake and have it taste good is just a win-win."
Mission: ImPULSEible challenges Canada's culinary students to get creative in producing new food products featuring Canadian pulses (peas, lentils, beans and chickpeas). This year saw 35 student teams from across the country develop pulse-inspired dishes with the goal of creating awareness for the International Year of Pulses 2016 (IYP).
"The 2015 Mission:ImPULSEible competition featured some of the most creative products we have seen yet," said Christine Farkas, Manager of Food Product & Culinary of Innovation with Pulse Canada, and organizer of the event. "With IYP on the horizon, I wanted to see the students get really innovative and create dishes you wouldn't normally associate with pulses. This year's competitors certainly rose to the challenge," says Farkas.
Second place in the competition went to the University of Saskatchewan team's Pulsiano Pizza, a frozen gluten-free pizza. The crust includes lentil flour, the pizza sauce is a combination of tomato sauce and pureed kidney beans, and the pizza is topped with vegetables and roasted chickpeas.
Third place went to team Alberta's Peamon Tart with a lemon filling in a flaky crust made from a mixture of red kidney beans, chickpeas, Romano beans and great northern white beans. The product is gluten-free and the eggs are replaced with pea protein.
All provincial competitions as well as the 2015 national competition images and product information can be found on the Mission: ImPULSEible Facebook Page.
Pulse Canada is the national association representing growers, traders and processors of Canadian pulse crops (peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas).
Mission ImPULSEible - Backgrounder
What is Mission: ImPULSEible?
Mission: ImPULSEible was launched in 2009 as a way to encourage post-secondary students in food science, nutrition, business, and culinary arts programs to generate innovative ideas for incorporating pulses into retail food and culinary inspired concepts. One of the main goals of Mission: IMPULSIBLE is to ensure that pulses (pea, lentils, beans and chickpeas) are on the radar of the next generation of food product developers and chefs who will be the trail blazers of food innovation.
How does the competition work?
Each year, students from universities, colleges and culinary schools across Canada are invited to join Mission: ImPULSEible, an event hosted by Canada's pulse industry. Their mission: to develop innovative food products containing whole pulses or pulse ingredients.
Pulses are the dry, edible seeds of legume plants and include peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas. Students present their creations at provincial competitions where judges evaluate them based on sensory and health attributes, the innovative use of pulses, feasibility and marketability. Provincial winners then compete at the Mission: ImPULSEible National Championships.
35 student teams from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Atlantic Canada participated in provincial competitions during the spring of 2015. Provincial winners participated in the National Championships on Tuesday, June 23 in Calgary, Alberta, an event that was sponsored by Intertek, a leader in quality services to industries worldwide. Intertek also provided nutrient analysis services for the competing teams.
Judges for this year's competition were John Lillard, Senior R&D Technologist with Campbell Company of Canada, Theresa Almonte, Director Business Development in North America with Intertek. Also on the panel was Robin Esrock, Bestselling Author, Journalist & International Broadcaster and the Westin Calgary's Executive Chef, Chef Frederic Hoffman.
What is the International Year of Pulses (IYP)?
The United Nations has designated 2016 the International Year of Pulses. Activities and events are being planned all around the world to raise awareness of pulses as the future of food and to promote the role pulses have in better nutrition and sustainable agriculture. Canada is contributing to many IYP activities at the global level, and is planning national programs and activities across Canada throughout 2016.
SOURCE Pulse Canada