According to Mintel report, the snack market is one of the fastest growing sections of the domestic food market and globally. Changing eating habits of younger generations who seek convenience and nutrition due to busy life style may be one of the factors affecting the rising trend. These generations are snacking on almost anything, raising the need to focus more on convenience. Varieties of snacks from conventional salty snacks to fruit and vegetable, and cereal-based snacks and meat snacks are included in the category.
Among snacks, the extruded snacks category using pulse flour, protein, starch, and fiber are growing. Extrusion is especially valuable since it enables a change in the functionality of non-conventional ingredients (i.e., protein, starch and fiber) making it easier to incorporate these components into snacks. For example, direct puffed snacks made from raw pea flour has less beany flavor due to high intensity processing inactivating enzymes and deodorizing much of the flavor compounds. Even though the processing requires high initial cost for processing equipment and operation costs, flexibility that extrusion provides are appealing to many food manufactures.