Food scientists welcome Philippines visitors for deep dive in snack advances

Josh with extruder lab visitors
School of Food Science doctoral student Josh Bernin shows visiting Filipino professionals a plant-based protein product at the WSU extrusion lab.

Researchers in the WSU School of Food Science welcomed ten visiting food industry professionals from the Philippines in October for a four-day training session to share the latest ideas driving a $50 billion global snack industry.

Extrusion and milling are used to create ingredients and produce a wide range of snacks, cereals, noodles, and other foods. At WSU, workshop host and professor Girish Ganjyal, SFS staff, and students work to improve the ingredients, methods, and value of extruded foods, enhancing health and quality. For the visitors from Southeast Asia, Ganjyal hosted sessions Oct. 2-6, 2023, at Pullman, sharing WSU’s work on pulses and dry beans as extrusion ingredients.

“The industry continues to seek products with more nutrition and unique eating experiences,” Ganjyal said. “Food companies in the Philippines wanted to learn about our findings and experience in increasing fiber and protein without compromising eating quality.”

Lab and classroom sessions looked at nutritional benefits, functional properties, parts and equipment, and the extrusion and milling process. Representatives of the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council and US Dry Bean Council shared overviews of the pulse crops that are increasingly being used to add nutrition to extruded snacks. Experts from suppliers ADM, AGT, Ingredion, and Puris shared an overview of raw materials and ingredients.

Girish magnifier
Professor Girish Ganjyal takes a close look at puffed, extruded snacks during an October 2023 training session with representatives from eight food companies in the Philippines. The four-day workshop helped share current work incorporating pulses and dry beans into extruded foods.

Ganjyal led visitors in a hands-on taste-test of different products, from plant-based meats to popular snacks and cereals. Visitors also toured and viewed milling equipment at the USDA Wheat Quality Lab at Pullman.   

Gaining technical and practical skills, participant Ric Lim said he planned to apply what he learned by using different grains, pulses, and ingredients to improve and innovate on quality products.

The training was funded by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service and organized by the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council.

“This work truly is the future of the market,” said Jeff Rumney, the council’s vice president of marketing. “It’s an important part of a larger effort to promote U.S. origin pulses both here in the U.S. and around the world.”

From visitors, WSU scientists learned about current trends in the Philippines snack industry, including the rising demand for snacks made with nutritious pulse- and dry bean flour. Next year, faculty plan to visit food companies in Southeast Asia to help solve technical issues in producing snacks made from pulses and dry beans.

Samples Phillipines visit
Visitors from the Philippines taste extruded foods prepared in WSU’s Food Processing Extension & Research lab at Pullman.

“We want to continue working with food producers in the Philippines,” Ganjyal said. “This experience ultimately helps our farmers find broader markets for their crops.”

The WSU School of Food Science is made up of scholars exploring the chemistry, microbiology, engineering, and sensory science of food, enhancing food safety, quality, and security. The school encompasses the WSU Creamery, where students produce the famous Cougar Gold cheese and award-winning ice creams while building valuable career skills. Learn more at

Learn about WSU’s Food Processing Extension and Research at