Montana Develops Pea For Diabetics


The deadline for applying to license a new yellow pea variety developed by researchers in Montana State University's College of Agriculture has now passed.
The new variety, known as MSUPBLB10-10, is high in amylose starch, which, when included in food products, can lower their glycemic index. The glycemic index measure a food's impact on blood sugar. Foods with a low glycemic index can help diabetics avoid spikes in their blood sugar and thereby lessen the chances of being afflicted with some of the long-term symptoms of diabetes, such as nerve damage, blindness, kidney disease and heart disease.
"The pea variety offers growers an opportunity to expand into the higher-priced specialty health food market," the university said in a press statement, "particularly the diabetic market where low glycemic index products are desired."
The pea variety grows well in climates with the short, cool, growing seasons, like that of the Northern Great Plains. The pea variety also has better yield, and its stem is less likely to bend at or near ground surface - a property known as lodging resistance - than the Amigo high-amylose dry pea. Peas that lodge easily can result in dramatically lower crop yield.
The pea variety is a semi-leafless, semi-dwarf, dry pea with medium test weight. It bears most of its pods in the top third of the plant, facilitating mechanical harvesting. The pea's pointed pod may help reduce pod shattering during harvest.
The pea produces a whitish flour that does not darken after processing into noodles and should combine well with wheat or other flours to increase protein, reduce gluten and reduce the glycemic index of the final product.

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