Organic Functional Ingredients & Organic Brown Pea Flours: Bakery applications

Previously I wrote about the functionality of organic potato starch in bakery applications in While potato starch has a lot of functionality it doesn’t work for all purposes. For emulsification, foaming and texturising you need something else. Organic Brown Pea and Fava Bean Protein flours are simple natural wholemeal flours that have a lot of functionality and a nice mild taste that can be easily masked. The application areas are extremely wide but in this article I will focus only on bakery applications. 

We are arranging a Webinar on Organic Baking on 17.6.2020. Please join by registering here.

Organic Brown Peas and Fava Beans are European Crops

Brown peas is an ancient type of peas that was grown all over Europe in Medieval times (often called grey peas or field peas). It has been preserved in Latvia as a traditional Christmas dish. Now the mild and nutty flavour of Brown Peas is finding its way into many other foods including bread and sweet and savoury bakery products as well as vegan ice cream and other non dairy products.  

At Aloja Starkelsen Ltd we contract all our Organic Brown Peas and Fava Beans with farmers in Latvia and Finland. Leguminous crops are effective nitrogen fixers that are an important part of the crop rotation on organic farms. Thereby pulse flours contribute in an important way to the sustainability and resilience of our farming and food systems. All the organic brown peas are grown on the same farms as our organic starch potatoes so we already have a long relationship with the farmers and production can easily be scaled up.

Fava Beans have become extremely trendy in Finland both for human consumption as a part of the plant based food boom, and as a source of domestic protein for animal feed. Therefore it has also become quite a popular crop among organic farmers in Finland. The organic fava beans are sourced directly from contracted organic farmers in Finland.

Organic Protein Flours

Based on organic Brown Peas and Fava Beans we offer both high-protein (50%-60% protein content) and low-protein flours (18-20% protein content) which are produced with a simple milling and mechanical separation process. Essentially they are wholemeal flours because nothing has been taken away. They are produced in a dry process which does not involve any water or solvents. 

The Vegan Bakery

Our fine wholemeal Brown Pea flour has 18-20% protein content and 7% fiber. It works perfectly with yeast and sourdough boosting fermentation and volume in bread. Its baking properties are enhanced by relatively high amylose content.  

Brown pea flour can replace 10%, up to 50% of wheat flour in regular bread. The main benefit is increased nutritional value of the bread. As is well known grain and pulses proteins compensate each others amino acid deficiencies. Adding pea flour to wheat bread increases the protein content of the bread but much more important is the qualitative improvement in the nutritional value (PDCAAS) of the protein. Pea flour as a wholemeal flour also contains valuable nutritional fibers and micronutrients. 

The Gluten Free Bakery

A gluten-free bread based only on Brown Pea Flours is fully possible as is shown by the below recipe. Lack of gluten should be compensated with Cold-swelling Potato Starch as explained in our article about Organic Potato Starch bakery applications. This is just to show that a gluten-free bread blend could contain any amount of Brown Pea flour.

Brown Pea flour has sufficient active protein content to replace animal based proteins (egg, milk powder) in baked products (cakes etc) and the flavour can easily be masked with brown flavours typical in cakes, muffins etc. In bread it will prevent separation of added oil as it also has an emulsification effect. Today it is an advantage if all baked goods are plant based and labels are clean.  

In gluten free baking organic Brown Pea  flours is an excellent main flour as it is possible to bake bread even from only Brown Pea flour using yeast or sourdough. Compared to many other gluten free flours Brown Pea flours are wholemeal and offer high nutritional value in terms of protein, fibres and micronutrients. In most cases gluten free bakery mixes are blends and Brown Pea flour is an excellent option as one of the main components in a gluten-free blend. Of course an important factor is that it is reasonably priced on the same level as organic wheat flour. 

Organic Brown Pea flour is available also as a stabilised ready-to-eat flour that also helps to control the viscosity of a gluten-free dough and can be relevant in bakery mixes sold to consumers where it might be advantageous that the flours are ready-to-eat.

Proteins in Baking

In some cases the protein content in the Brown Pea flour is not sufficient. For such applications we offer Organic Brown Pea Protein concentrate. Actually it is also a flour and can be declared as ”pea flour”. 

Preparing a “fresh egg” of organic brown pea protein.

Brown Pea Protein concentrate can be used in bakery applications for functionality or purely for protein fortification. Brown Pea Protein flours are an excellent replacement for eggs and milk powder in baked products. It can be a 1:1 replacement of egg powder or replacing fresh eggs based on dry matter content. 

Brown Pea Protein flour is also a perfect solution for the current trend of high protein bakery products. It has 50% protein content but it is a flour and can be declared as such. As the protein is fresh in the flour there is no risk of sandy mouth feel in the final product which is often the case when using protein isolates. 

All possible claims

Using organic Brown Pea flour and protein flour enables you to use a lot of claims in the final product. You could develope f.ex. a high-protein organic gluten-free and vegan muffin. However often you don’t need all the claims and these flours offer important benefits even in standard bakery products. However Aloja Organic Brown Pea flours do offer a lot of possibilities for product development. 

You could use Brown Pea flour to

  • improve wheat flour nutritionally and functionally 
  • replace animal proteins in wheat based products
  • replace wheat flour in gluten-free products (but still use egg / milk)
  • improve protein content of a gluten-free blend
  • develop a high protein bakery product 
  • develop vegan gluten-free products 

Benefits of Organic Brown Pea flours

  • High nutritional value 
  • Mild taste
  • Excellent  functionality
  • Replace animal based ingredients
  • European origin, full traceability
  • Tradional European crop
  • Wholemeal Natural Ingredient 

Aloja Starkelsen Ltd is a manufacturing company but our products come with a lot of know-how about the functionality of our products and applications where they can be used.

Of course Organic Brown Pea and Fava Bean flours can not solve all your application challenges. For Water-binding, viscosity and gellifying we offer our range of Organic Potato Starch products. For more information about what application possibilities in organic food industry those offer please visit

Below we are giving a few recipe examples for your inspiration. You can also let us know what you are developing and we can support you with our application know-how. In our test kitchen we can develop recipes for you.

We are arranging a Webinar on Organic Baking on 17.6.2020. Please join by registering here.

We are specialists in Organic Food Processing and Organic Functional Ingredients: contact us for application support!

In this Organic Brownie we have replaced egg with our organic pea and fava bean protein flours and wheat flours with our brown pea flour and using our organic baking powder.
You can use our ingredients even if you don’t want to use all the claims. In this case we just replaced wheat with a blend of organic brown pea and fava bean flours and potato starch.
In the organic chocolate mousse we have used the protein flours as egg replacement for creating volume.