University of Alberta students create prize-winning bean 'gelato'

The creamy confection is easy on the tastebuds and the waistline



Ready your spoon. Three students at the University of Alberta have concocted a new gelato recipe that's healthy, dairy free and lower in calories than the conventional recipe.


Austen Neil, Chandre Van De Merwe and Nicolle Mah came up with the odd gelato recipe for a competition held by Pulse Canada.

All three flavours — passionfruit,  maple walnut and dark chocolate cassis — are chock full of vitamins and loaded with protein.

The secret ingredient?


That's right, BiotaGelata is made with fermented Alberta-grown navy and kidney beans.

Now fermented beans don't exactly sound appetizing, but the nutrition and food science students behind the new dessert promise their creation is easy both the waistline, and the taste buds.

"There's definitely less sugar, less fat, but you get the same flavour," said creator Austen Neil.

"You would never know there are beans in there."

Neil, Nicolle Mah and Chandre Van De Merwe came up with the odd treat for a competition held by Pulse Canada, Canada's industry association for pulse crops, which are primarily peas, beans and lentils.

The February competition was called 'Mission Impulsible.'

Even though BiotaGelata came in second, the judges were so impressed with the bean-based creation,  they paid for the trio to join the first-prize winners at the Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo in Chicago this July. The event is one of the biggest food expos in the world, with more than 20,000 people from the food industry in attendance.

"I'm nervous, but excited," said Neil, who would like to see the creamy confection in grocery stores across Alberta.

"At this point we have to figure out whether we're going to sell this idea or do it ourselves."

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