Pulses for Healthy People and a Healthy Planet: Emerging Research and Opportunities

Organized and sponsored by the US Dry Pea and Lentil Council, the American Pulse Association, Pulse Canada and the World Food Center at University of California, Davis.
Saturday, April 02, 2016

12:45 – 2:45 pm
San Diego Convention Center, 32AB

Program Description

Pulses represent 12 crops of grain legumes, which include dry beans, dry peas, chickpeas and lentils. The United Nations declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production aimed towards food and nutrition security. As one of the most sustainable crops, pulses provide affordable nutrition as a nutrient-dense, low-fat protein source with a range of health benefits. Opportunities exist to promote the health benefits of pulses through claims and dietary guidance. This session features promising research for pulse health claims like blood sugar response, as well as emerging areas like gut health, to advocate for sustainable, plant-based protein foods in dietary guidance. In addition, research on how breeding and processing pulses impacts nutritional quality will be highlighted. The session closes with a presenter panel focusing on research gaps related to these opportunity areas for pulses.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this sessions, attendees will be able to:

  • Define the current state of pulse health research and priority gaps related to health claims and dietary guidance.
  • Understand how pulse breeding and processing provides diversity for nutrition and health.
  • Understand the potential for pulses in emerging areas including the impact of pulses on the gut microbiota.


Dietary Guidelines: Role of Pulses in Nutrition and Sustainability and Future Research Needs, Joanne Slavin, PhD, University of Minnesota

Health Claims for Pulses: Current State of Research and Opportunity Areas, Julianne Curran, PhD, Pulse Canada

Harvesting Natural Variation for Climate Resilience, Biotic Stress and Nutrient Density from Chickpea’s Wild Progenitors, Douglas Cook, PhD, University of California, Davis

Emerging Research on Pulses and the Impact on Gut Microbiota, Volker Mai, PhD, MPH, University of Florida