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Healthy innovations in snacks

Date: October 21, 2020

Time: 1:00 PM CDT (Central Daylight Time)

With more consumers choosing mindful snack options, the better-for-you snacking category is exploding. These new product innovations offer consumers healthy and nutritious snack alternatives with all the taste and convenience of traditional snacks.

Join Avena and our industry friends, Jon Baner, Senior Technical Manager of Extrusion with PacMoore Process Technologies, LLC. and David Walsh, Vice President, Membership and Communications with SNAC International, to explore how the healthy snack market is evolving, to understand the benefits of pulse ingredients in snack formulations, and to learn about processing pulse ingredients on traditional snack manufacturing equipment.

Presenters and Guest Speakers:

David Walsh
VP, Membership & Communications
SNAC International

Snack Industry Trends and Growth Drivers

Website: SNAC International  |   LinkedIn: David Walsh

During his nine years at SNAC International, David Walsh has held a variety of roles, including membership, communications, marketing and government affairs. In his current role, David is tasked with managing member relations, new member recruitment, and SNAC’s overall communications and marketing efforts. He has been tapped to speak about issues, trends and category insights impacting the snack market at numerous educational conferences. David also serves as a mentor in Emerge, which is a learning and networking community for emerging brands, retailers, investors and industry experts. David is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he studied Economics and History. David lives in the Washington, DC area with his wife, Jennifer and son, Charlie.


About SNAC International:

Founded in 1937, SNAC International (formerly Snack Food Association) is the leading international trade association for the snack industry representing over 400 companies worldwide, including suppliers, marketers and manufacturers. Upon its three pillars of education, advocacy, and networking, SNAC is committed to connecting the snack industry to create growth and opportunity. For more information, visit www.snacintl.org.

SNAC International
David Walsh, SNAC International

Jennifer Evancio
Director, Sales and Business Development
Avena Foods Ltd.

Pulses: An Important Component of Healthier, Sustainable Snack Innovation

Website: Avena Foods   |   LinkedIn: Jennifer Evancio

Jennifer Evancio is the Director of Sales and Business Development with Avena Foods Limited, based in Vancouver, Canada. Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that she is at Avena Foods, given that sustainable, plant-based food ingredients are part of her DNA. Jennifer grew up in Saskatchewan, the Canadian heartland of pulse and oat production. Her family homesteaded here before Saskatchewan was officially declared a province in 1905.

After 16 years at Saskatchewan Trade & Export Partnership, mainly as Director of the Agri-Value international trade development team, Jennifer joined Best Cooking Pulses as Director of Sales & Marketing. Jennifer has been in her current role since Avena Foods and Best Cooking Pulses merged in 2018, sharing her passion for, and knowledge of, pulse and oat ingredients with innovative food, petfood & nutraceutical companies in North America and Europe.

Avena Foods Limited
Jennifer Evancio, Avena Foods Ltd.

Jonathan Baner, CFS
Senior Technical Manager – Extrusion  |  PacMoore Products, Inc.
PacMoore Innovation Lab

Snack Processing Technology Utilizing Pulses

Website: PacMoore Products, Inc.  |   LinkedIn: Jonathan Baner

Jonathan M. Baner is Senior Technical Manager of Extrusion with PacMoore Process Technologies, LLC. Jonathan holds a BS in Food Science & Human Nutrition from the University of Illinois and is a Certified Food Scientist. As site leader for PacMoore Innovation Lab in Gridley, Illinois, Jonathan is responsible for extrusion process and product development in cereal- and protein-based direct expanded, texturized, and high-density extruded product categories.  Prior to joining PacMoore in 2014, Jonathan held previous roles in the food industry with responsibility for quality, regulatory, and innovation.

About PacMoore Products, Inc:

PacMoore is a contract food manufacturing company, focused on creating the finest food ingredients in the world with over three decades of industry experience around the development, processing and packaging in spray drying, extrusion, dry blending, liquid blending, re-packing and consumer packaging.

PacMoore Products, Inc.
Jonathan Baner, PacMoore Products, Inc.

Q&A Highlight

Questions and Answers

Thank you to all who submitted questions during this event. Here are some highlighted questions. If you have further questions, please send them to info@avenafoods.com.
David Walsh, SNAC International

What do you see as the primary 2021 snack trends and of course related ingredients and nutritionals?

“COVID-19 and 2020 saw many consumers gravitate toward more traditional “comfort food” and snacks, and perhaps more legacy brands that helped them feel a much-needed sense of normalcy. Eventually in 2021, a return to the pre-COVID trends is expected. In the long term, we expect that consumer preference for the ‘new’, ‘different’, and ‘unusual’ will be reignited due to pent-up demand. One perhaps more specific trend that I’d highlight, is the continued rise of plant-based proteins throughout various snack sub-categories. We’ve seen items like plant-based and vegan jerkies take-off, driven by consumer demand for more plant-based protein. I’d expect continued innovation within this category, as well as the plant-based/vegan-meat analogue trend to continue to expand into ‘traditional’ categories of snacks.”

– David Walsh, Vice President, Membership and Communications with SNAC International

Jonathan Baner, PacMoore Products, Inc.

Is there any advantage to adding additional pea hull fiber even when adding whole pulse flour?

“Textural attributes of direct expanded extruded products can vary depending upon the raw material formulation, macro nutritional composition, and raw material physical characteristics.  Even in cases where whole pulse flour is being used, additional pea hull fiber can still be used to enhance nucleation of the product’s internal cell structure.

For example, when looking to create a product with a very fine foam structure with a soft, tender bite it may be useful to increase the amount of pea hull fiber to assist in the nucleating of higher levels of bubbles upon expansion of the die.  Nucleating a high level of bubbles will control expansion and minimize large bubbles which have very thick cell walls resulting in a glassy or gritty bite upon drying.

That being said, not all pea hull fibers are created equal.  Particle size of pea hull fiber to function as a nucleating agent must be small or it can have a negative impact on expansion.  This is caused when “large” (obviously a somewhat relative term) particles of fiber exist they actual form a weak point in the cell wall of the crisp where the quickly escaping steam blows out the cell wall and the bubble collapses prematurely prior to cooling of the extruded matrix which causes undesired collapse in the overall structure.

If the formulation level of the pea hull fiber is too high it will also show an increase in density of the final extruded piece.  In the case of nucleation, the finer the particle size the better.”

– Jonathan M. Baner, CFS, CFS, Senior Technical Manager of Extrusion with PacMoore Products, Inc.

Jennifer Evancio, Avena Foods Ltd.

Are there any advantages to using whole pulse ingredients instead of, or in addition to, protein concentrates and isolates?

“As noted during the webinar, whole pulse flours are not just beneficial for their macronutrients (protein & fiber), but are also a source of micronutrients, including potassium, iron, calcium and B vitamins (especially folate).

For consumers looking for simpler ingredient decks and whole foods, pulse flours are appealing. Depending upon the application, pulse flours may be able to mitigate the quantity of pulse protein fractions needed and help with overall formulation costs, while still providing functionality. Finally, using a whole pulse flour is a more environmentally sustainable choice when calculating the carbon footprint of the finished food product.

While protein concentrates and isolates have their place, there is still so much that food science is learning about, and amazed by, the role that peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas play in food innovation and product development.”

– Jennifer Evancio, Director of Sales and Business Development with Avena Foods Ltd.


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Congratulations Devanshu Mehta, Taylor Washington and team from the University of Florida and their product "Hullo Cakes" for taking top national baking prize using Avena Best Dietary Fibers in the ASB Product Development Competition 2022!! - https://mailchi.mp/avenafoods/hullocakes-npew2022

Canada’s #plantbased sector constantly strives to be an innovation leader. @AvenaFoods' CEO Gord Flaten says with a coordinated approach to #innovation, we can accomplish this leadership on a global scale.
Have a look at the actions: https://theroadto25billion.ca/innovate

Take your attention to detail to the next level at the snack industry’s expo #SNAXPO21. Source the latest in technology, products & innovations to diversify product mix, increase profit margins & satisfy consumers’ nutritional goals. More info https://bit.ly/3hGm169 @BestPulses

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