NCI bean course introduces SE Asian food processors to extruded bean snacks

Farm Forum

Fargo, N.D. – Fifteen food processors from Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and USA were at Northern Crops Institute to attend the Snack Food Opportunities for U.S. Dry Beans Course from May 13-17. The course was co-sponsored by the U.S. Dry Bean Council.

“During this course, we are demonstrating the high quality of U.S. dry edible beans, and teaching the participants how to incorporate beans into extruded snack food products,” explained Thunyaporn Jeradechachai, NCI Crop Quality Specialist. “Extrusion experts are providing hands-on experience in extruding beans. During the course, the participants tried more than 50 combinations of extruded bean snacks made in-house. This will help the participants make informed decisions about new products for their companies. Instead of making starchy-based snacks that do not have much nutritional value, we are introducing them to a high quality nutritious bean snacks,” she says.

According to Jeradechachai, bean snacks are popular with consumers in Southeast Asia. Beans are very nutritious with low allergens, gluten-free, and containing high quality protein, high fiber, high anti-oxidants, and high micronutrients.

During this course, the group also toured the NDSU AES Greenhouse, NDSU edible bean breeding field plots, and the SK Food Specialty Processing Facility in Moorhead, Minn. Representatives from seven bean suppliers met with participants to discuss supplies of U.S. dry edible beans.

Lecture topics included U.S. dry bean quality, breeding programs, consumption trends, ingredients and applications, bean and corn milling, single and twin-screw extrusion technology, nutrition, starch and protein functionality, and product trends.

“The US Dry Bean Council is pleased to support the snack course offered through NCI,” says Jeane Wharton, Executive Director of the U.S. Dry Bean Council (USDBC). “Innovations and new products are an important part of any industry, and the bean industry is no different. Market Access Program funds from the USDA’s Foreign Ag Service make such coursework possible. USDBC participates in promotional and educational programs in Southeast Asia, Europe, Japan, Mexico, South and Central America, and the Caribbean,” she concludes.