NCI Bean Course Introduces SE Asian Food Processors to Extruded Bean Snacks

Fargo, N.D., USA -- Fifteen food processors from Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and USA are at Northern Crops Institute to attend the Snack Food Opportunities for U.S. Dry Beans Course from May 13-17.  The course is 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,” explains 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.

"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.

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. 

Speakers and technicians for the course included: Rachel Carlson, NCI Food Technologist; Natsuki Fujiwara, NCI Food Technologist; David Hahn, Ph.D., NCI Director of Technical Services and Business Development; Clifford Hall, Ph.D., NDSU School of Food Systems; Gerry Hertzel, Wenger Manufacturing; Alyssa Hicks, NCI Milling Specialist; Thunyaporn Jeradechachai, NCI Crop Quality Specialist; Rilie Morgan, NCI Processing Specialist; Juan Osorno, Ph.D., NDSU Plant Sciences Dept.;  Brian Plattner, Wenger Manufacturing; Mark Weber, NCI Director; and Jeane Wharton, USDBC.

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.

North Dakota and Minnesota is the largest producing area of U.S. dry edible beans, ranking first and third in U.S. production.  Michigan ranks second.