Avena Foods Limited and Best Cooking Pulses (BCP) have announced a new partnership, effective January 2018.

Avena is a supplier of gluten-free oats to the North American market. With a dedicated gluten-free facility, a network of gluten-free growers across Western Canada, and a controlled distribution system, Avena specializes in oat purity.

Best Cooking Pulses is a Canadian agrifoods business that has been active in the international pulse trade since 1936. With two locations on the Canadian prairies, Best Cooking Pulses uses proprietary technology to split peas, process whole pulses, and mill a range of pulse flours and pea hull fibers for conventional and certified-organic markets worldwide.

“Avena Foods is very excited to partner with Best Cooking Pulses”, said Peter Samson, chairman of Avena Foods, in a press release. “BCP has a longstanding reputation for providing best-in-class pulse ingredients. This partnership will provide both companies with exciting new opportunities for our customers and our growers.”

Human health trends and pet food trends

The partnership reflects growing superfood trends in the agriculture and pet food markets. Superfood ingredients, which usually come with at least one specific health benefit claim, can be found across the spectrum of foodstuffs — everything from pulses to fruits and vegetables to aquatic ingredients have options for pet food manufacturers to pull from.

“The inclusion of pulses in pet food mirrors the strong growth in human foods that incorporate peas, beans, chickpeas and lentils,” said Margaret Hughes, vice president of sales and marketing for Best Cooking Pulses. “Designated as one of the top 20 antioxidant foods by the [US Food and Drug Administration], pulses are a nutrient-dense powerhouse, loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, yet low in fat. To top it off, pulses have a significantly lower glycemic index than other seeds and grains, so they provide an additional advantage in terms of weight management.”