Cailegh Smith and Evelyn HelpsTwo University of Guelph undergraduate students aiming to create a healthier hamburger have won a national competition for food development.

Students Cailegh Smith and Evelyn Helps developed “Fiberger,” a product designed to reduce the amount of meat needed in recipes. It contains pulse flours made from beans, lentils and peas, and assorted spices.

“Obviously, they’re very high in protein and fibre and have a high micronutrient content,” says Smith. “We’re really proud of it being a way to support Canadian agriculture.”

Helps adds: “We tried to make it taste like meat with the spices we chose.”

They won the national Mission ImPULSEible competition Feb. 22. The annual contest is run by Pulse Canada, an industry group that represents growers, processors and traders of peas, lentils, beans and chickpeas. This year’s competition took place in Burnaby, B.C.

The Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences students will take their product to an international competition this summer in Chicago. They will compete with winners from countries including China, India and Australia.

Smith will start a master’s degree at U of G this summer, and hopes to bring Fiberger to market.

Helps plans to study veterinary medicine after graduation.