Everything you always wanted to know about pulse flours and proteins

Beans on wooden platter
Beans in bowl
Beans in bowl
Beans in bowl
Beans in spoon
Beans in bowl

Consumers around the world are looking for simple products with clean labels, made from ingredients they expect and accept. You can formulate with pulses to create the delicious, clean and simple products your consumers want.

Clean and simple

Consumers are also seeking nutritious foods that offer high fibre, plant-based protein and more. Products made with pulses can deliver the health claims consumers want—without things they’re trying to avoid, such as gluten and additives.

Health and nutrition
Beans in bowl
Beans in spoon
Beans in bowl
Beans in spoon
Beans in bowl
Beans in bowl


Pulses are the dried seeds of plants from the legume family, like dried peas, dried edible beans, dried lentils and dried chickpeas. Pulses have special properties that make them particularly suitable for today’s health-conscious consumers. They are naturally high in protein, containing between 20–25%. That’s nearly twice the protein in traditional cereal crops, such as wheat.



Sales for pulse-based food and beverage products have grown 33% in the last 2 years in APAC,* as an increasingly health-conscious population looks for more nutritious and nature-based foods. That’s a huge opportunity.

Adding pulse flours or proteins is a great way to create high-protein foods while enabling manufacturers to reduce the dairy or meat content of their products.

Alternative plant-based sources of protein are in demand as consumers increasingly consider them to be healthier than meat. The rise of “flexitarians” (people who eat a predominantly vegetarian diet but do eat meat too) is further fueling demand for protein-rich vegetarian foods.

With the emergence of new pulse-based ingredients, such as Ingredion’s HOMECRAFT® Pulse flours and VITESSENCE® Pulse proteins, savvy manufacturers are meeting the growing demand for healthier, protein-enriched, vegan foods. Explore how new and existing ranges of products, from snacks to sauces and everything in between, can benefit from pulse-based ingredients.


Pulses allow on-trend nutritional claims, such as high protein and high fibre, to help differentiate your products and improve their appeal and success.

You can meet the growing free-from trend with naturally gluten-free pulses. Plus, you can formulate with pulses to build back the eating experience when less desirable ingredients are reduced or removed.

Pulse flours and proteins also support clean labels. For example, “flour” is perceived as a kitchen cupboard ingredient, and this familiarity is an important influence in consumer purchasing behavior.

In fact, pulses can help you achieve a wide variety of claims, including vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, kosher and halal, and more, to improve the commercial viability of your products.


Imagine delicious and healthy new products, like high-protein lentil crackers, gluten-free cookies or pasta, or veggie burgers. The opportunities with pulse ingredients are diverse.

Pulse flours, such as HOMECRAFT® Pulse flours, can be used for the following purposes and applications:

  1. Protein enrichment in (gluten-free) bakery, pasta, snacks and cereals
  2. Base flour for high-quality gluten-free bakery, snacks, cereals, batters and breadings, and pasta products
  3. Enhancing texture in products, including crispiness in cereals and snacks
  4. Improving crispiness and color in batters and breadings
  5. Taste and color diversification in bakery, pasta, snacks and cereals

Pulse proteins, such as VITESSENCE® Pulse proteins, can be used for the following purposes and applications:

  1. Protein fortification in beverages, snacks, pasta, cereals, bakery, soups, and other food products
  2. Plant protein source in place of egg, dairy or animal protein in vegan/vegetarian applications


Pulse ingredients are easy to use and can be processed with minimum formulation work. They also have the advantage of ease of storage over a long period of time, making supply straightforward and reducing waste.


Developing products with protein claims is an unmissable commercial opportunity. Look for a supplier with the right applications knowledge and experience to speed up time to market, as well as the technical expertise and support to make the transition from prototype to large-scale production straightforward and cost-effective.

When you work with Ingredion, you get the benefit of our range of pulse ingredients as well as applications knowhow. Our team of in-house chefs and food technologists is uniquely experienced to help you develop delicious formulations across a range of applications and functionality. This helps remove trial and error in product development and minimizes risk when transferring to the manufacturing environment.

Different types of pulses and different particle sizes will suit different applications, so it is important to understand which ingredient is appropriate for your product. Chickpea flours work well in bakery products, adding moisture through their higher fat content. Combined product and applications knowledge is the key to successful formulations.


Consistent end product quality is essential to avoid batch waste and any negative effect on your brand. Look for homogeneity to guarantee batch-to-batch consistency. Suppliers that derive their pulse ingredients from a single variety per product can deliver this.

Continuity of supply will avoid production delay and provide the flexibility to meet seasonal uplifts. Ingredion’s HOMECRAFT® Pulse flours and VITESSENCE® Pulse proteins offer continuous supply and micro-testing of every batch.