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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

Re: Pulses: Innovations from the field to the cooking pot

Sarah Najera
Sarah NajeraFAOItaly

It is clear a lot of work has been done around pulses. However, I consider most of it stays within the same community. In my case, I was able to participate in the international lupine conference last year in Milan, where all the work related to this field was exposed. Contributions and research has been done, but all the new contributions were not shared with the general public.

I consider pulses should be used in specific target groups. For example, some innovations should be looked within athletes. Most of the products athletes consume are not natural and in most cases the end product consumed is not natural based. They are people in need of food sources like pulses, but the lack of education or products reduces the chance for pulses to become their first option in diets.

In a very specific case, lupines (considered as "the food of the poor" just like most pulses), have a very interesting story case in Ecuador. For years this legume was consumed in rural areas, but people within cities would never consider this as an option of food source. Thanks to governmental efforts to promote the nutritional benefits and due to product innovation, the country has reached the level were local production cannot fulfil the countries demand. How did they manage to do this? A big campaign around how nutritious they are, mainly as a snack for kids; doctors started recommending them to women and athletes for its protein and calcium content; and product innovation were chochos (lupines) are presented on a ready-to-eat version in all supermarkets.

I consider pulses need to modernize. The global trend has changed and most people will not take their time to cook them in a traditional way. Finally, global communication with social media will help a lot with this task. Social media together with gastronomical innovation can help pulses become 'the next quinoa'.