Seeking out high quality plant-based proteins is easier than ever with the newly launched “Made with Pulses” label seal created by the pulse industry. In order to call attention to pulses in foods—beans, peas, lentils, and chickpeas--the industry member association is working to bring more attention to these crucial protein sources.
“More than ever, consumers today are looking for affordable, nutritious and environmentally sustainable food options," Daria Lukie, Pulse Brand manager told New Hope. "The Pulse Brand and seal act as a unifying symbol to help consumers easily spot products that contain pulse ingredients."
Already, numerous companies have shown interest in using the seal, Lukie reports. “We’ve also had a large influx of inquiries from companies interested in the program since it was announced more broadly last month, and expect to have many more brands using the seal by the end of the year.” Participating brands must be Pulse Brand members and pay a fee for use of the seal, and must insure that pules make up at least five percent of the product formulation by weight.
The program comes after the United Nations declared 2016 the Year of the Pulses—these hardy, inexpensive, and incredibly nutritious and versatile plant proteins have numerous benefits to the global food system and the environment. Not only are they less expensive to produce than animal proteins, but some crops, like lentils, are also nitrogen fixers, which improve soil quality and help keep greenhouse gases out of the environment.
The move toward meat alternatives has been steadily inclining in recent years with innovations in plant meats and proteins leading the category. Peas are seeing an influx of use in alternative animal protein products and as a key ingredient in Hampton Creek’s product line, which replaces eggs with pea protein in its vegan mayonnaise.
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