The Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University has launched a platform that enables companies and institutes to work together towards improving the nutrition of food products by discovering new ways of promoting pulses like lentils and peas to tackle obesity and undernutrition.
The Global Pulse Innovation Platform (PIP) aims to boost consumption of protein-rich pulses, a sustainable food product that helps prevent and manage chronic diseases such as diabetes.
PIP gathers leaders from academia, government and the food value chain, from farmers to food companies, to reduce these diseases associated with malnutrition.
“We need to produce food that is nutritious, healthy for the planet, affordable, and great tasting – like black-bean brownies or lentil-flour pizza dough,” says Dr. Chris Lannon, managing director of the McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics (MCCHE), which will host the platform. “We’ll co-ordinate projects for members to identify and address these obstacles to innovation and build cooperation between them.”
Founding members include multinational food and drink giant PepsiCo Inc., the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), global leader in flavour innovation Firmenich, the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and the INCLEN (International Clinical Epidemiology Network) Trust, as well as national industry association, Pulse Canada.
Speaking on the new PIP platform, Gordon Bacon, chief executive of Pulse Canada, said, “This is an opportunity for a food system transformation. The affordable nutrition of pulses, a staple in many diets, needs to be incorporated into more foods that fit today’s lifestyle and taste preferences.”
The platform coincides with the United Nations declaration of 2016 as the International Year of Pulses, which aims to achieve food security and nutritional objectives from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
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