Sales of pulses rise by 26 per cent at European Freeze Dry

Freeze dried brown lentils from European Freeze Dry

Specialist ingredients producer European Freeze Dry has seen sales of pulses rise by 26 per cent over the last 12 months as demand for the alternative source of protein continues to rise.

A combination of rising demand for plant-based proteins and the preventative health benefits of pulses over animal-derived proteins are being heralded as the reason for the growing market.

With pulses offering the options of being used whole, powdered or in pieces, the freeze drying process retains the nutritional and fibre benefits whilst offering colour, texture and new combinations.

Sarah Lacey, Development Manager for European Freeze Dry, said: “These ingredients are packed with nutrition and flavours to complement diverse recipes and we are seeing unprecedented demand from manufacturers.

“These pulses can be quickly rehydrated to making them an ideal source of protein with the fresh flavour already locked in from the day they were packed.”

The expanding range of pulses from European Freeze Dry includes black-eyed beans, turtle beans, red kidney beans, chickpeas and cooked brown lentils.

Covid-19 is also providing an unexpected boost to the protein alternative industry, globally, says Mordor Intelligence. Medical studies show that coronavirus disease has an overwhelming impact on people with underlying health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. An alternative protein-based diet is proven to help reduce the effects of the virus on at-risk people through an abundance of macronutrients, micronutrients and antioxidants.

Endorsing the benefits of pulses, The British Nutrition Foundation says: “Pulses can be good alternatives to meat as they are inexpensive, but also naturally low in fat, as well as being a great source of protein, fibre and lots of vitamins and minerals.”

The global plant-based protein market is expected to grow from $10.3 billion in 2020 to $14.5 billion by 2025 thanks to innovation and growing demand.

At European Freeze Dry, all products for freeze drying start as frozen raw materials, and undergo a process known as sublimation under specifically designed programmes.

The reduction in water in the final freeze dried product means there is a much reduced potential for microorganisms existing in such low amounts of water, leading to a shelf life of up to two years at room temperature.