VTT has developed food application technologies for an ancient domestic
protein crop - faba beans. The nutritious and protein-rich faba beans are
mostly used for feed. VTT introduced food product concepts that enable the use
of the beans as a food ingredient. Hybrid processing technologies; mechanical
separation combined with bioprocessing resulted in a tasty, nutritious and
protein-rich bread made from 70% faba bean flour. VTT's methods can also be
used to make 100% faba bean pasta.
The sensory characteristics, structure and colour of the faba bean bread are
better than those of, for example, products made by combining maize, rice and
Using similar methods, VTT has also developed a gluten-free pasta product from
100% faba bean flour or faba bean fractions with or without fermentation
treatment. The products were comparable to pasta made from durum wheat
Faba bean has not traditionally been used in baking, as it contains compounds
that are problematic with regard to production and sensory characteristics.
VTT solved these problems by combining mechanical fractionation with
bioprocessing, thus improving the faba bean's nutritional, technological and
sensory characteristics. The method is green as it doesn’t involve the use of
organic solvents and also cost effective.
Faba bean is an excellent source of protein, and is thus a good meat
substitute. Its protein content can be up to 25 to 35%, which is twice that of
wheat grain. The faba bean contains plenty of vitamins, minerals, dietary
fibre and bioactive compounds that are important to your health.
The faba bean is cultivated in Europe, Canada, Africa and Asia. In Finland,
its cultivation has been relatively minor, and the crop is mainly use as feed
for pigs and cattle. However, the cultivation is expected to increase due to
climate changes and the governmental push towards more domestic proteins. The
market prices of the bean are clearly lower than those of peas and soybeans.
|Picture: Faba bean bread ( Photographer: Antonin Halas)|