“Give peas a chance”! The slogan adopted for a combined research project, sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to the amount of some 2 million Euro, which has been under way since October 2011 at a number of research facilities in Berlin and Brandenburg.The notifications about sponsorship were handed over by the Minister Ilse Aigner personally (photo). The Institut für Getreideverarbeitung (Institute for Grain Processing), the Institut für Lebensmittel- und Umweltforschung e.V. at the same location, and the Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung (German Institute for Nutritional Research) are the three research establishments in Rehbrücke which will be dedicated to the processing of peas and beans to create health-boosting foodstuffs. Pulse crops (Leguminosae) contain not only starch, but also valuable protein, dietary fibre and roughage, and secondary plant content substances, but, despite this, they are steadily disappearing from our daily menu. And not only from the menu, but from the fields of Brandenburg as well, once the leading Federal province in the cultivation of animal feed peas. The pulse crops are gone, which used to serve as an offset to an increasing monoculture, and made a rational crop rotation possible.
The “LeguAN” project is researching the value creation chain of the Leguminosae, from cultivation to use, and effectively recreating it. In this context, the Institut für Getreideverarbeitung and the Institut für Lebensmittel- und Umweltforschung have been assigned the technological research tasks and entrusted with the development of new products, while the DIfE is conducting a nutritional study in the quest to prove that the eating of pulse crops can provide health benefits and is an alternative to the excessive consumption of animal proteins. In the final analysis, it is pulse crops which cover the majority of the protein needs of the peoples of Latin America, and it seems possible that modern extrusion technology can provide the proteins from peas with a consistency which is close to that of meat. Vegetarian are in for a treat.