Investigating Factors Influencing the Quality of Cooked Whole Beans

Crop Dry Bean
Start Date2017
End Date2017
Principal InvestigatorMcRae, Mavis, Red River College
MPSG Financial Support$8,209
Total Project Funding$15,354
External Funding PartnersRed River College (NSERC)
ReportMcRae – MPSG FINAL Extension Report

Research Objectives

The primary research objective is to conduct a thorough study on the cooking parameters for the major types of Manitoba pulse crops. This information can be used to improve consumers' experiences with cooking beans. Although it may seem like a method is established, the number of culinary experts who use different methods suggests there is still disagreement among the experts.

Project Description

The list of best practices for cooking pulses varies depending on who you consult or what type of pulse you are cooking. This proposal aims to explore the variables influencing the outcome of properly cooked pulses, including what defines properly cooked, at least for the majority of people in a taste panel. As recently as this week, a new consumer article for home cooks was released touting the benefits of brining pulses before cooking for better flavour. Even chefs at RRC Culinary school have different opinions about salt during the cooking process.
The project will take a detailed look at the variety of factors that could influence a properly cooked pulse including the effects of salt and other possible additions, pre-soaking, and water quality (e.g. hardness) as it all relates to the final desired qualities of a cooked pulse.
Taste panels with professional chefs, culinary students, and the general public will help determine what people are looking for in a cooked pulse product. Texture is often cited as a deterent for some people so determining the desired texture and hardness will be important. Red River College will partner with CIGI to use equipment designed to test the “doneness” of cooked pulses. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative data, RRC will produce a set of guidelines to cook Manitoba pulses. We will engage students in the learning process to ensure the next generation of chefs undertands how to make the perfect pulse plate.
Products to be tested will include navy beans, black beans, pinto beans, fava beans and chick peas.