New Data Allows Beans to be Labelled a “Good Source of Protein”

WINNIPEG (August 20, 2012) – New data adopted by Health Canada means food manufacturers can now include statements like “Good Source of Protein” on canned and dried pulses (peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas). Canadian consumers are increasingly looking for healthy messaging on food labels, and these new rules will make it easier for shoppers to make healthy choices.

Health Canada recently approved Pulse Canada’s submission to adopt new protein efficiency ratio (PER) data for pulses. PER values are used to determine the protein rating which is based on a 250mL serving, Health Canada’s reasonable daily intake (RDI) for pulses.

Previously only cooked chickpeas (a 250 ml serving) could make a claim for “Good source of protein,” based on existing PER values. Research completed in 2010-2011 shows that additional pulses (listed in the table below) may now be eligible for protein content claims. This new data will be made public as the values are updated on the CFIA website in the coming weeks.

“The nutritional value of protein is based on both quantity and quality. These newly adopted PER values will enable the industry to highlight the protein in pulses, creating a new marketing opportunity” says Tanya Der, Manager of Food Innovation & Marketing with Pulse Canada.

The Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER) is a measurement of protein quality recognized by Health Canada and is the value from which protein source claims for foods are calculated. The original PER values for some pulses were outdated, undervalued or missing. In November 2010, the Canadian pulse industry, with support from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Agricultural Flexibility Fund, funded a study conducted by Dr. James House of University of Manitoba to analyze protein quality of pulses using PER and PDCAAS methodologies (PDCAAS is the method used in the U.S. and internationally.)

Pulse Canada is the national association representing growers, traders and processors of Canadian pulse crops. Canada is the world’s largest supplier of pulses, with exports reaching more than 150 countries.


For more information: Courtney Hirota, Director of Marketing & Communications, (204) 925-3785,