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Researchers Look At Finding New Opportunities For Pulse Starch

Ottawa and Saskatchewan have announced $2.5 million in funding for the University of Saskatchewan.

Dr. Yongfeng Ai at the University of Saskatchewan will work on finding new opportunities for pulse starch.

Federal Agriculture Minister Marie Claude Bibeau says with Prairie farmers producing such a large percentage of Canada's pulse crop, the opportunities to process these crops and create new, higher-value products closer to home are enormous.

Agriculture Minister David Marit says the investment will stimulate further development and growth in the Saskatchewan pulse and value-added industries by identifying new ways to process pulse starch.

"This research will bring us closer to a number of the goals outlined in Saskatchewan's Plan for Growth. These include our targets to process 50 per cent of Saskatchewan pulse crops in the province and increase value-added agriculture revenue to $10 billion."

The U of S research team will look at ways to separate starch from the seed, and convert it into value-added products.

Pulse crops like beans, lentils, and peas contain starch that can be used in a variety of food products.

InfraReady Products, C-Merak Foods, P&H Milling Group, and the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers are all partnering on the project.

Saskatchewan Pulse Growers Executive Director Carl Potts says in order to further expand value-added processing of pulses in Saskatchewan, there needs to be strong demand for all co-products of pulse processing. In particular, we need more high value markets that can utilize starch in volume.

The $2.5 million comes from Saskatchewan's Strategic Research Initiative.

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