SLU news

JTI extrudes faba beans for food and feed

Published: 04 September 2014

Swedish Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering (JTI) has tested extruding of faba beans, with good results. The trials were included in the four-year EU project EUROLEGUME that promotes increased – and sustainable – production of legumes in Europe.

- Extrusion of faba beans is a promising way to convert faba beans to an advanced feed and an interesting food commodity. The technique has long been used, but as far as I know, this is the first time faba bean has been tested as a commodity, says Fredrik Fogelberg, researcher at JTI, which is the Swedish partner of EUROLEGUME.

Extrusion means squeezing a raw material such as milled peas or beans, under high pressure against a breaker plate. During the pressing one can control the pressure and temperature and also add water, oil, or other additives. During the process the raw material is converted into a liquid mass which, when expanded after pressing, has given the commodity a completely different structure. Some dog foods, breakfast cereals and candy types are manufactured by extrusion.

The purpose of EUROLEGUME project is to refine legumes to new nutritious foods and regionally produced animal feed. The project focuses on three Legumes: peas, faba bean / broad bean and "black-eye bean". The project also aims at developing varieties with high nitrogen fixing ability and suitable for cultivation in both the south and north of Europe, as well as explore how these varieties should be grown to provide high returns.

As Swedish partner can JTI include questions from the Swedish industrial into the project in areas such as choice of variety, cultivation technology, feed production and food processing.

- We would like to tie the food and feed businesses to the project in order to obtain their views on appropriate uses. The research we conduct can in conjunction with businesses put new products on the market within 2–4 years, since the accumulated knowledge from the European project can be used, says Fredrik Fogelberg.

During the autumn JTI arranges, a mini-seminar on faba beans, presenting on-going Swedish activities of cultivation, varieties, feed and food development.

EUROLEGUME is funded by the EU Seventh Framework Programme and has a total budget of 6.5 million EUR.