The pulse flour market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13.35% over the forecast period to reach a market size of US$47.589 billion in 2025 from US$22.443 billion in 2019. Both traditional agriculture systems and modern food processing have taken into account the nutritional benefits imparted by pulses. They are inclusive of but not limited to the provision of complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, minerals, phytochemicals, protein, as well as vitamins; assist in reducing blood glucose, preventing chronic health issues like diabetes, heart diseases, and obesity, minimizing inflammation, lowering blood cholesterol as well as improving digestion. Currently, the average global per capita consumption is registered at about 8 kg/year, globally. Pulses are also known to play an important role during pregnancy to prevent fetal defects. Additionally, food that is formulated to wean infants from mothers’ milk can be enriched by adding certain types of pulse flours with flours derived from cereals, among others. Flours derived from pulses have also been an integral part of traditional cookery in countries like India wherein 30% of the population is reportedly vegetarian.
Among products pertaining to chickpea, chickpea flour which is obtained by the milling of split grams in small quantities is utilized as a key ingredient in the preparation of several sweet as well as savory dishes and is widely consumed across the nation [Source: FAO]. The potential of pulse flours to as the key ingredients in snack and the primary means of protein enrichments Limagrain Céréales Ingrédients (LCI), had in December 2018, had reportedly upgraded its Nutrition and Taste & Colour solutions with a new range of organic pulse flours, which are available in three different raw materials: organic red lentil, organic green pea, organic chickpea. The functional flours pertaining to this range are reportedly treated to facilitate incorporation, minimize bitterness, and increase the shelf life of flours, concomitantly maintaining the nutritional benefits of pulses. The functional benefits of these flours are reportedly extended to a broad range of products which are inclusive of but not limited to ready meals, meat substitutes, gluten-free food, baked goods, as well as aid in imparting of color and flavor, improving texture and hydration.
Earlier in August 2018, Bunge North America had reportedly expanded its product portfolio with clean label ingredients by adding lentil functional flour which derived from non-GMO lentils, that can reportedly act as a substitution for modified starches simultaneously provide a range of nutritional benefits. Later during January 2019, the leading global provider of ingredient solutions to diversified industries, Ingredion (NYSE: INGR) had reportedly announced its plans to expand manufacturing and production capabilities in Vanscoy, Saskatchewan with Verdient Foods, Inc., which encompasses, among others, pulse-based flours derived from peas, lentils, fava beans. Further, due to the lockdown measures brought into force by various national governments which had steered the consumers away from out-of-home consumption to at-home consumption which led to an upswing in home baking activities. Along with the therapeutic benefits associated with the consumption of flour derived from pulses, the increasing trend of consuming gluten-free products due to incidences of Celiac diseases are also anticipated to positively influence the pulse flour market. Thus, to surmise, the aspects of nutritional benefits and product portfolio expansion, among others are expected to augment the growth of the pulse flour market during the next few years.
Another factor that indirectly stems from the need to cater to the growing demand for human consumption is the necessity of quality animal feed to sustain and facilitate the growth of animal husbandry. Despite the economic hardships stemming from CIVID 19 along with logistical bottlenecks as well as a steep decline in demand as an outcome of the closure of food and beverage establishments, resulting which are partly responsible for the forecast of world total meat production to all in 2020 in the order of 333 million tons (carcass weight equivalent), 1.7 % lower than in 2019, the demand for meat and dairy products are expected to increase during the coming few years with the anticipated normalization of the global economy. Moreover, world milk production is expected to grow by 0.8 % to 859 million tons due to forecasted production expansions in Asia and North America as well as with moderate increases in Central America and the Oceania, Caribbean, and Africa.
In Asia, the output is expected to grow by 2% to 367 million tons in 2020. In India which is the world’s largest milk producer, the output is forecast to grow by 2.6 percent, or 5 million tons, compared to 4.5 percent growth recorded in 2019. In China, which has been registering a recovery form 2018 in the milk sector the output of milk is estimated by approximately nearing 3% in 2020 compared to less than 1% last year, amongst ongoing consolidation of farm and increased efficiency of largescale dairy units. More with the government introduction of stringent food safety standards, the confidence of consumers in Chinese milk has reportedly increased which has helped to sustain growth [Source: FAO]. Thus, to sustain the supply of food and ensure food safety, feed safety is of utmost importance leading to the reinforcement of the recognition of feed as an integral part of the food chain. Thereby the demand for pulse flour is expected to be driven by the increasing need for quality animal feed.
The growing demand for plant-based alternatives and increasing shift towards veganism is also expected to drive the pulse for market growth during the next few years. Certain market developments which are pertinent to the aforesaid are being mentioned below:
February 2018 – Product Launch
The Virginia, USA based Nutriati has reportedly developed artesa chickpea flour which has been claimed to be neutral tasting, highly functional which emulated the functionality of wheat flour and has been projected to enhance the nutritional and organoleptic profile of baked goods, desserts, and gluten-free kinds of pasta and aids in the elimination of gums and starches.
August 2019 – Product Launch
Brazil-based Milhão had reportedly unveiled its new line of pulse flour made from ground chickpea,lentil, and pea with a protein content
June 2020 – Portfolio Expansion
The Belgium-based Herba Ingredients which is the allergen-free ingredients division of the Ebro Group reportedly facilitated the expansion of its pulse flours portfolio with the opening of a state-of-the-art production line for concentrates pertaining to protein and starch.