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Innovation / 9. April 2019

Legumes – the healthy snack everyone is talking about

Beans, lentils and chickpeas are very popular as healthy and filling snacks. Legumes (also known as pulses) have always been a staple for vegetarians and vegans, sports enthusiasts and people who want to lose weight. In recent years, the food trend around seeds of dry dehiscent fruit has gained huge popularity, including in the broad nutrition mainstream. With nutrient-rich legume-based snacks, even long-established classics such as crisps and crackers are now facing serious competition.

Pulses: a snack with tradition

Although legumes in their variations are increasingly found on menus, in cookbooks and in supermarkets today, they are by no means new in human nutrition. In fact, they are among the oldest plants cultivated by mankind. In addition to the popular peas, beans and lentils, the family of legumes includes over 700 other genera with around 18,000 different known species.

The legume owes its name to the way it grows, as the seeds ripen in single or multi-single pods which are also called legumes. With the beginning of arable farming, and the domestication of cereals, legumes also became an essential part of agriculture: Kündig alone imports several thousand tonnes of legumes into Switzerland and Germany for further processing. World production is estimated at between 70 and 150 million tonnes.

Healthy snacks: a cup of beans a day keeps the doctor away

Canadian nutritionist Dr David Jenkins confirmed in a study conducted in 2012 that “a cup of beans a day” can significantly lower the risk of cardiovascular disease in patients with Type 2 diabetes. In addition to their positive effect on blood sugar levels, legumes also provide numerous vital nutrients such as protein, minerals, fibre, vitamins and carbohydrates. This is another reason why pulses are being used more frequently for food production. Between 2013 and 2017, the number of foods containing legumes rose by 39 percent worldwide. Above all for pasta (plus 295 percent), but also for snacks (plus 128 percent), significant increases were observed. It is no wonder then that more and more people today prefer tasty legume-based snacks to unhealthy crisps and crackers for their evening nibbles in front of the television.

Kündig is also part of the snack revolution

With our healthy bean- and pea-based snacks, we have been wowing internal testers, our employees and selected customers for several months now: “In today’s nutrition, snacks are definitely on the rise: according to studies, snacks account for almost half of a person’s daily calories. At the same time, a healthy diet is becoming increasingly important for many people, and snacks for between meals is no exception. Not only do we want to fill a potentially valuable gap in the market, but we also want to offer a healthy, organic alternative to traditional snacks such as crisps. Judging by the reaction of our customers, tasty legume-based snacks are an absolute favourite among the public,” says Simon Wunderlin, Head of Dried Vegetable/Herb Department at Kündig.

Interested in learning more about legume snacks from Kündig? We look forward to hearing from you by telephone on +41 44 368 25 22 or by e-mail at info@kuendig.com. One of our specialists will then be in touch.