We are studying and sharing information on the culinary, nutritional, and processing properties of Montana specialty crops to make them more competitive in the world market.

Sharon Li removes a batch of lentil crackers from the oven

Pulse Products

As a leading pulse producer, Montana ships out 90% of produce without any processing. We will use extrusion to develop pasta, breakfast cereals, snacks, and meat analogs using Montana specialty crops such as lentils, chickpeas, and beans to encourage value-added agriculture. We are also studying how low carbon footprint, organic, and Made-in-Montana labels can influence the purchase intent for pulse products.

aronia berries and leaves being held in a person's hands

Small fruit and berries

Montana community access to locally-grown fresh fruit is limited due to challenging weather conditions that limit the ability to produce certain common fruit crops, such as blueberries. Novel small fruits and berries such as haskaps, saskatoons, and dwarf sour cherries grow well in Montana's climate. This project focuses on mapping consumer interest and diversifying income streams by considering value-added food products.

hempseed smoothie and hemp products including oil, seed powder

Hemp innovation and testing

We are working with the Ravalli County Economic Development Authority (RCEDA) on the development of a hemp-infused cooking oil, made with Montana-grown and -processed hemp and safflower. Our involvement includes planning the design for constituency and consumer sensory testing, as well as providing product testing in our laboratory. Learn more about this project on the RCEDA website.

muffins on baking tray


Our kitchen-tested recipes feature Montana specialty crops as well as Indigenous ingredients.


The Science of Baking Innovation: Montana Specialty Crops

Mark Floerke is host of the BAKED in Science podcast and is a former senior scientist at Archer Daniels Midland (ADM). Dr. Wan-Yuan Kuo, Director of the Montana State University Food Product Development Lab, invites Mark to discuss the science and potential of Montana whole and fractionated pulse ingredients and sprouted crops in bakery innovations.