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Application of pulses cooking water as functional ingredients: the foaming and gelling abilities


Recent interest in pulses has resulted in the application of their cooking water (PCW) as replacement for egg white in meringues. Nonetheless, scientific understanding of their chemical composition, physicochemical properties and effect on food quality is lacking. This study analysed the PCW of haricot beans, garbanzo chickpeas, whole green lentils and split yellow peas, determining their composition and effect on meringues’ quality. The PCW tested contained different amounts of sugar, soluble and insoluble fibre, protein, ash and saponins. All PCW exerted foaming ability (39–97%), directly correlated to their protein content and lower than that of egg white (400%). Moreover, gelling ability was observed, resulting in the development of egg-like meringues, with their hardness inversely correlated to the content of insoluble fibre. Whole green lentils expressed the highest foaming ability while garbanzo chickpeas resulted in the strongest gelling ability. Sensory analysis of meringues depicted low acceptance for the taste of meringues made with the PCW of haricot beans and whole green lentils. On the contrary, high acceptance was determined for garbanzo chickpeas and split yellow peas, similarly to that of the egg white.

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This research has been sponsored by Lincoln University. The authors would like to thank Roger Cresswell and Vicky Zhang for performing the protein analysis; Andrea Hogan, Shuang Jiang and Rosy Tung for their support with the quantification of total soluble carbohydrates and for performing the ash and fat analyses, as well as Joan Narciso for helping with the carbohydrate extraction. Finally, we acknowledge Libby Bird for her literature review on hydrocolloids functionality and Weihan Zhang for taking pictures of the meringues and performing their sensory analysis.

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Correspondence to Luca Serventi.

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The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Sensory analysis was conducted in compliance with ethics standards upon approval by the ethics committee at Lincoln University.

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Stantiall, S.E., Dale, K.J., Calizo, F.S. et al. Application of pulses cooking water as functional ingredients: the foaming and gelling abilities. Eur Food Res Technol 244, 97–104 (2018).

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  • Fibre
  • Functional ingredients
  • Protein
  • Pulses
  • Texture