Beans are the mature forms of legumes that come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Beans are considered pulses and common types of beans include black beans, navy beans and pinto beans.
Dried, edible beans were originally cultivated in Central and South America more than 7,000 years ago. In the United States, dry bean production occurs in North Dakota, Michigan, Nebraska, Colorado, California and Idaho.
Dried bean usage in the packaged food industry has skyrocketed as manufacturers seek to develop gluten-free bakery foods and plant-based breads. The versatile ingredient can be used in everything from crackers to alternative meats.
Bean flour has become a go-to gluten-free ingredient base for gluten-free snack foods that mimic everything from potato chips to traditional crackers.
A variety of bean products can be used to provide texture and protein in plant-based meats and vegetarian products.
Mung bean flour has proven an excellent formula addition to egg replacers in a variety of plant-based foods.