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Exploring pulses 2.0 - nutritional value of grain legumes and derived foods

The project seeks to generate new knowledge about the nutritional value of legumes and legume-derived foods through analyses of macro- micro-, and antinutrient content and bioavailability.

Legumes are being advocated as a climate friendly alternative to meat. It can, however, be challenging for consumers and producers to navigate all the different types of legumes, as well as the numerous processed plant-based meat analogues on the market.

Project summary

In this project at Business Academy Aarhus, School of Applied Sciences, we explore the nutritional value of selected legumes and legume-derived foods to gain knowledge about their potential uses and relevance for members of the entire value chain.

This will be accomplished through analyses of various nutrients and their bioavailability. The knowledge will contribute to creating a qualified and nuanced transition to a more plant-based diet for the Danish population.

Research questions

  • What is the variation in the content of relevant nutrients in existing and potential novel species and cultivars of legumes on the Danish market for feed and food?
  • What is the content of selected antinutrients in existing and potential novel species and cultivars of legumes on the Danish market, and are the existing recommendations for their removal required in their present form, and which strategies might take their place?
  • How is the digestibility of pea protein affected by being texturized into a meat analogue?

To answer the above questions, common legumes will be analysed for selected micronutrients. Similar analyses are carried out on legumes with potential for production and retail distribution in Denmark, such as soybean and lupin. In addition, relevant antinutrient content is evaluated, along with the effect of current recommended household antinutrient reduction procedures.

Furthermore, protein content and composition of a large selection of faba bean breeding lines, with potential for local production and use as feed instead of imported soybean cake, are analysed. Finally, the in vitro digestibility of unprocessed and texturized pea protein concentrate is compared.


The primary collaborator in the project is food manufacturer Crispy Food a/s. The project also collaborates with Aarhus University’s department of Agroecology, and Business Academy Aarhus are partners in the project IMFABA. In addition, contact will be established with distributors and/or purchasers of legumes and derived products and ingredients.


The project is expected to deliver one or two research articles, as well as a consumer targeted article and a contribution to the 10th International Conference on Food Chemistry and Technology, which in 2024 will take place in Denmark.

Project duration and contact person

January 2023 - december 2024


Svend Secher Dam


Senior Lecturer