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Beans find granola bar application.

Dry beans--Phaseolus vulgaris--have received considerable attention due to their nutritional benefits. They are high in protein, fiber, iron and folic acid. We all know that consumers today are very health-conscious and are looking for new products that provide them with convenient, healthy alternatives.

The objective of efforts at Purdue University was to develop high-quality, bean-based granola bars that are acceptable to consumers, especially those from Latin America. By combining the nutritious properties of black and red beans, and the convenience of granola bars, it is possible to create a new snack food targeted to Latin American countries and the Hispanic food market in the United States.

The main ingredients in the bars include corn syrup (31%), toasted oats (30%), dehydrated cooked beans (16%) and sucrose (9%). Developers used black beans and red beans to make their respective granola bars. The granola bars were tested for moisture and texture using a commercial texture analyzer.

Researchers conducted sensory testing using a nine-point hedonic scale that tested product appearance, texture and flavor, and which rated overall product acceptability. Two population groups were tested: one of only U.S. citizens, and the other of Latin American citizens. Along with the sensory evaluation, a market analysis study was conducted.

The final formulation allowed for nutritional claims for protein, fiber, folic acid and low-fat levels. The moisture level of the bars was 0.28. The texture analysis results correlated well with the results of the sensory evaluation. Sensory evaluation showed that the Latin American group found the bars more acceptable than the U.S. participants. Also, the black bean granola bars were more acceptable to the Latin Americans than the red bean bars. About 72% of the Latin American group indicated that they would purchase the bar if they saw it in the store.

FYI: The university also operates The Center for Enhancing Foods to Protect Health. It was established in July 1999 to promote research on phytochemicals and nutraceuticals in order to advance the science for improving the health attributes of food. Investigators conduct research on nutraceuticals, plant phytochemicals and delivery systems for developing functional foods that reduce disease risk and improve health. The center supports research in genetic transformation, the use of plants as biofactories for human interest products and research on functional genomics of food health protectants.

Further information. Suzanne Nielsen, Food Science Department, Purdue University, 1160 Food Science Building, West Lafayette, IN 47907; phone: 765-494-8328; email:
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Publication:Emerging Food R&D Report
Date:Oct 1, 2002
Previous Article:Investigate interaction among proteins to improve breadmaking quality.
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