In recent years, pulse-based fortifications are being considered an innovative and potentially beneficial ingredient in baby foods for children aged 1 to 3 years old. Typically, a soup or porridge-like product, the formulations are naturally fortified with the vitamins A, D, E, iron, folic acid, and other important nutrients from pulses, while providing a balance of essential amino acids.
Such baby foods increase the daily intake of carbohydrates and protein, with product protein in some preliminary studies reaching 15 percent. Producers are similarly quick to point out the important role such products can play as an alternative for those children who are lactose intolerant or allergic to soy products.
The low cost of dry peas, in combination with rice, leads to overall lower product cost, making the foods an attractive option to manufacturers and consumers. This is especially true when the lower costs are considered alongside dry peas’ nutritional and microbiological benefits, and their long shelf life (up to 19 months with some products). See page 176 for a sample cereal formulation.