ADM files world patent for its edible bean food binder

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / HandmadePictures
© Getty Images / HandmadePictures
Processing major Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) has filed a global patent on its edible bean blends VegeFull for use as non-sweet food binders in cereals and bars.

Writing in its international patent,​ ADM said VegeFull – made from a range of beans including pinto, black, navy, kidney, and chickpea – could be used as a binder in cereal clusters, snack pieces and granola, protein and nutrition bars. The powdered bean blends, it said, provided an alternative to typical binder options on the market such as corn syrup, starches, eggs and vital wheat gluten. ADM initially filed a US patent on the binder in December 2016.

Non-sweet label claims

“While general food-grade binder products are available, there are few products on the market that are suitable for use as binders that do not increase the sweetness of these food systems; that do not include a food ingredient that may be an allergen; or that do not include a food ingredient avoided by people on certain diets, e.g. gluten-free. Thus, needs exist for a food-grade binder that avoids these issues,”​ ADM wrote in its patent filing.

The company said its edible bean blend could be used in sweet or savory products to solve these needs, particularly reducing sugar content and offering a 'clean label' option, and could be used to bind bars with large particles or powder ingredients.

Importantly, use of the binder enabled 'no-added sugar' and 'low-GI' product claims and the ability to develop bars and cereals that were suitable for low-carbohydrate diets, it said.

ADM said as a binder or 'adhesive', the bean blend should be incorporated into a bar formulation at an inclusion rate of between 5 – 20% and by weight, should not exceed 45% of the total product.

VegeFull could also be blended with a range of ingredients, including gums, humectants, sweeteners, and other proteins, for varied final textures, the company said. “The combination of the edible bean product, humectant, sweetener, and/or water may be manipulated and altered to achieve particular binding and adhesive qualities, and other characteristics desired in the finished food composition, such as, for example, cohesiveness, adhesiveness, springiness, chewiness, crunchiness, mouth feel, stickiness, hardness, brittleness, softness, stabilization, texturization, and pliability.”

As well as binding entire formulations, the ingredient could also be applied as a coating on bars to tack other edible particulates to the surface, for example with muffin toppings, or as a sprayable coating for cereal pieces.

Dehydrated and fiber-rich

ADM said the bean blend could be made from either milling fresh edible beans or dehydrated beans – a process that ADM had also patented.

If used in dehydrated form, it said the dietary fiber levels were higher. For example, dehydrated pinto beans contained about 27% dietary fiber versus raw pinto beans that contained around 12%; similarly dehydrated navy beans comprised around 23% dietary fiber versus just 9.8% in the raw bean.

Source: WIPO International Patent No. 2018111880
Published: June 21, 2018. Filed: December 12, 2017.
Title: “Methods of binding food particles with edible bean products and products produced therefrom”
Author: Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) – O. Rhode and D. Strehlow