Southeast Asian Food Processors Learn about U.S. Dry Edible Beans at NCI

Fargo, N.D., USA -- Twelve food processors and food brokers from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand were at Northern Crops Institute (NCI) last week to learn more about the uses of dry edible beans in food products. The course focused on U.S. pinto, navy, black, great northern, and kidney beans. The U.S. is the 5th largest producer of dry edible beans worldwide.  North Dakota and Minnesota produce nearly 50% of the dry edible beans grown in the USA.

“The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a growing economic power and consumers from this region have unique trends,” says Mehmet Tulbek, Ph.D., NCI Technical Director and lecturer in the course.  “Due to the joint efforts of Northern Crops Institute and the U.S. Dry Bean Council during the last three years, we have reached several companies in the region.  We are hoping that our work will increase the edible bean sales to the region.”

“Dry edible beans are protein, fiber and micronutrient-rich crops,” continues Tulbek.  “In our first dry edible bean short course at NCI, we highlighted dry bean flour utilization and novel edible bean applications to the Southeast Asian buyers. We demonstrated dry edible bean breeding, quality, milling, utilization solutions, cost management, nutritional strategies as well as the supply chain and processing practices in the U.S.”

Lectures were supplemented by hands-on experiences in NCI’s analytical, milling, baking, pasta and extrusion processing laboratories.

The participants also toured a Wal-Mart store, the NDSU Greenhouses and NDSU Edible Bean Breeding Field Plots, SK Food Specialty Processing facility in Moorhead, Minn., and their corporate offices in Fargo.  The group also met with the staff of North Dakota Trade Office, Fargo.

Speakers and technicians for the course included Natsuki Fujiwara, NCI Food Technologist; Clifford Hall, Ph.D., NDSU Dept. of Cereal and Foods Sciences; Thunyaporn Jeradechachai, NCI Crop Quality Specialist; Phil McClean, Ph.D., NDSU Dept. of Plant Sciences; Rilie Morgan, NCI Processing Specialist; Frayne Olson, Ph.D., NDSU Extension Service;  Juan Osorno, Ph.D., NDSU Dept. of Plant Sciences; Mehmet Tulbek, Ph.D., NCI Technical Director.

The course was co-sponsored by the U.S. Dry Bean Council.