Health Foods

Health-conscious consumers are increasingly looking for more nutritional alternatives to traditional foods — and they’re willing to pay a premium for it, too. We’re dedicated to helping manufacturers and product designers meet that demand with our line of highly functional and nutritious pea products that can be used in a wide range of health food applications.

The Nutritional Power of Peas

Canadian yellow peas are low in fat and high in protein, starch, fiber, vitamins and minerals — all essential nutrients for maintaining health. To meet the nutritional needs of North American consumers, who prefer healthy and quick-to-prepare products, NutriPea has developed an array of highly functional and nutritious pea-based ingredients.

Supplemental Protein in Everyday Foods

In recent years, a number of health concerns have been raised concerning the risks associated with proteins derived from animal sources. These risks include cardiovascular disease, bone health (from bone resorption due to sulfur-containing amino acids found in animal protein) and other physiological system diseases. Thus, consumers have increasingly turned to vegetable proteins to reduce weight and enhance overall health.

Containing high quality protein with digestibility comparable to the best animal proteins, yellow peas are a plant-based fit. Our proprietary Propulse™ Pea Protein is derived from yellow peas grown right here in Canada and manufactured without modification or hydrolyzation to provide an easy means of protein fortification in everyday foods. Incredibly versatile, Propulse is suitable for a range of applications, from health bars to protein shakes to baked goods.

Excellent Source of Dietary Fiber

Centara offers food designers nutritional and physiological advantages, such as dietary fiber enrichment, fat reduction and caloric value reduction. Delivering more than 90% of total dietary fiber, pea hulls are one of the richest sources of fiber on the market.

And unlike traditional fiber sources like wheat bran, Centara offers a bland taste and color, making it suitable for adding fiber to products that are generally low in this essential nutrient. With a unique physical structure and particle size, Centara allows for easy incorporation into both liquid and dry formulations, allowing it to be used as fiber fortification in a wide range of foods, increasing the nutritional content of everything from pizza crust to bread to energy bars with little to no impact on taste, texture or color.

Centara™ offers product designers an easy means of dietary fiber enrichment

A “Better-for-You” Starch

Though seen as “unhealthy” as of late, starches are one of the main energy sources in our diet. However, more recently, the health benefits of pea starch have helped restore starch to its proper standing as a healthful ingredient. As a source of slowly digestible starch (SDS), yellow peas offer a high viscous soluble dietary fiber content and a low glycemic index (GI). This positions pea starches like Accu-Gel™ to be a useful ingredient for health foods geared towards those suffering from diabetes, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. One such application is better-for-you white bread: when incorporated in this way, Accu-Gel has been found to significantly reduce its glycemic index.

In addition, yellow peas are an excellent source of resistant starch (RS) — the fraction of starch that escapes digestion in the small intestine and has functional and nutritional properties in common with dietary fiber. Composed of approximately 20-30% RS, Accu-Gel can be incorporated into a variety of products such as noodles, pasta and bread to fortify its resistant starch content.

Applications At-A-Glance

Propulse™ Pea Protein

  • Health bars & snacks
  • Protein shakes
  • Meal replacements
  • Protein-enriched bread
  • Special diet products

Centara™ & Uptake 80™ Pea Fibers

  • Breads
  • Fiber additive — an excellent substitute for wheat, oat, soy or sugar beet flour to increase the fiber content of everyday foods
  • Clinical nutrition / parenteral beverages (fine particles allow for tubal applications)
  • Energy, health and wellness bars
  • Pasta and noodles

Accu-Gel™ Pea Starch

  • An excellent source of resistant starch (pasta, noodles, bread)


Adding pea hull fibers like Centara to wheat flour up to the 15% level provides additional fiber fortification while producing a bread almost indistinguishable from white bread. While pea fiber does increase water absorption, it does so without affecting dough consistency and stability. Additional benefits include a light, yellow crust and improved shelf life due to the reduced tendency of hardening.

Overall, pea fibers like Centara and Uptake 80 can be used successfully to obtain a healthier bread and can increase the TDF level of a bread from 3 to over 5%. When used as a fiber additive, pea fiber is an excellent substitute for wheat, oat, soy or sugar beet flour. At an 8-12% substitution for flour, pea fiber increases bread volume, improves dough texture and strength, and extends shelf life. Adding pea fiber beyond the 5-15% level can be done; however, additives may be required to combat the excess water absorption and build up the structure of the bread.

When used in white bread, Accu-Gel has been demonstrated to significantly reduce its glycemic index (GI). This offers metabolic advantages over other traditional starches, especially for those with dietary restrictions due to diabetes, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. As an excellent source of resistant starch, Accu-Gel can also be incorporated into bread at a 30% level, supplying 2g of resistant starch per serving.

Sales of bread with protein claims are on the rise, and manufacturers are increasingly adding this essential nutrient to everyday staple finished products. Pea proteins like Propulse are a great alternative to soy and whey proteins in a range of baked goods, including breads.

Energy, Health and Wellness Bars

Propulse can be used as protein enrichment in energy bars at levels up to 25%. Not only does it improve the nutritional profile of energy bars, but Propulse also extends shelf life by preventing bar hardening.

Fiber derived from Canadian yellow peas can also be incorporated into energy bars. Centara™ Pea Hull Fiber and Uptake 80™ Pea Cell Wall Fiber are our two proprietary pea fibers that can provide food designers with a concentrated source for fiber enrichment and fortification. Centara specifically can be used at 5-9% in unbaked cereal bars.

Institutional Foods

Fiber intake of people in long-term care institutions is extremely low. As a result, more than 70% of residents are prescribed pharmaceutical laxatives and enemas, costing anywhere from $300 to $1,000 per individual per year. Incorporation of Centara as a fiber fortification into institutional foods, from cereals to baked goods to meal-replacement beverages, has been shown to improve digestion and overall health.

A 10-week Canadian study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, found that substituting Centara™ III for wheat flour in three to four daily menu options in long-term care facilities significantly relieved constipation, thereby improving the health of residents and potentially reducing their medication expenses.  The study also found that participants largely preferred Centara over wheat bran, thanks to its neutral taste and color.

Incorporating Centara fiber in institutional foods can take a number of forms, including cold cereals, instant hot cereals, fortified soups, breads, muffins, nutrition bars, dairy products and meal-replacement beverages.

Protein Fortification in Everyday Foods

Propulse pea protein can work well in applications where soy and whey proteins are currently used, such as sauces, dressings, snacks, pasta, beverages, cereals, baked goods and nutrition bars. Pea proteins can be used at varying levels up to about 75%, depending upon the application. In extruded snacks, pea proteins have been used to provide a snack with 65% protein. In other applications, such as beverages and bakery snacks, the desired finished protein content determine the usage level of protein incorporated.

Due to NutriPea’s manufacturing and drying process, Propulse is very easily dispersed with limited dust and foam formation, and its thin, non-gelling viscosity makes it ideal for use in a range of applications, including liquid products.

Pasta & Noodles

Yellow peas are an excellent source of resistant starch (RS), a “good” carb that has functional and nutritional properties in common with dietary fiber. When incorporated to noodles and pasta at a 30% level, Accu-Gel can provide 2g of resistant starch per serving.

Enriching pasta with pea hull fiber is another excellent way to boost the nutrient content of dried pasta noodles. Minimal flavor contribution is a clear advantage when using Centara III in high-fiber pasta. When fiber is added at a significant level to the raw pasta formulation, processors should note the following factors:

  • The protein content of the formulation will be reduced, so the manufacturer may have to use additional protein (i.e. gluten) to supplement the formulation and support the pasta dough matrix.
  • High-fiber pastas cook significantly shorter than regular pasta to achieve the same al dente texture.
  • High-fiber pastas tend to absorb significantly more water than regular pasta.

Fiber Supplements

Pea fiber supplements may provide an uncomplicated and simple way to deliver the nutritional benefits of insoluble and soluble fiber, heart disease and diabetes.

A French study in 2006 demonstrated that 15g of daily and ongoing supplementation of a normal diet with pea hull fiber was easy because of acceptable taste and good clinical digestion. Due to its small particle size and fine powdered form, pea fiber was easy to incorporate into cooked dishes without much notice. More importantly, pea fiber supplements were well tolerated, showing no modification of colonic motor profiles, nor excessive bloating, flatulence or diarrhea — the same cannot be said for traditional fiber sources, such as wheat bran.

Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a major risk factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases — the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in western society. Recently, pea protein has received considerable attention for their effectiveness in both the prevention and treatment of hypertension. Compared to antihypertensive drugs, pea protein peptides, as part of a functional food or nutraceutical, have no side effects, are less expensive, and have customer appeal.

Diabetes Prevention

Those with type 2 diabetes or anyone in a pre-diabetic condition can maintain a healthier blood sugar level with higher Centara consumption. Since pea hull fiber does not readily break down into glucose units compared to other carbohydrates, it controls intestinal glucose absorption and assists in stabilizing blood sugar levels.

Digestive Health

Today it is known that dietary fiber is required to maintain a functioning digestive system. Through clinical trials, pea hull fiber has been been shown to: increase stool bulk, decrease intestinal transit, pro- mote bowel regularity and prevent constipation. Not only can Centara assist in preventing digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulitis, but it can also help reduce the risk of colon and rectal cancer as well as cancers developing in the small intestine.

Weight Loss Management (Meal Replacement Shakes & Nutrition Bars)

A study of more than 74,000 nurses in the U.S. showed that women with the highest dietary fiber intake gained an average of 3.5 lbs less than women with the lowest levels of fiber intake.

The means by which Centara can deliver such weight management is as follows:

  • Pea fiber can displace simple carbohydrates and fat, thereby reducing a food’s energy density and overall caloric content.
  • The bulking action of Centara can create a feeling of fullness and satiety, helping to reduce appetite.

Pea fiber isn’t the only ingredient that can help manage weight. Proteins are widely used in low glycemic and weight-reduction products due to their low impact on blood sugar and caloric content. A moderately elevated pea protein intake has been shown to be an effective and practical weight-loss strategy. Beneficial outcomes associated with increased pea protein ingestion include increased satiety, rise in thermogenesis, reduced appetite and maintenance of fat-free mass.

As a nutritional supplement, Propulse Pea Protein can be used in protein bars, weight control shakes, meal replacement beverages and snacks as an easy means of protein fortification. In weight control shakes, Propulse Pea Protein can vary between 4-12%, to boost protein content and satiety.