Vegetables in the coffee cup
NUTRIENT-RICH coffees may be on the horizon after researchers have developed a powder that is made from imperfect-looking broccoli that would have been cast aside during processing.
Being delivered through Hort Innovation for Australian vegetable growers and led by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, the new product packs a healthy punch with approximately one serve of broccoli in every two tablespoons of powder.
Hort Innovation chief executive John Lloyd said the powder could be used for smoothies, soups, baking, as a way of hiding broccoli from fussy kids in meals, and even in coffees.
“With a rising trend in healthy eating across the board, Australian growers are always looking at ways to diversify their products and cut waste while meeting consumer demand,” he said.
Mr Lloyd also said despite the increasing popularity of “superfoods” and health and wellness, Australian diets were still poor.
“Research is showing the average Australian is still not eating the recommended daily intake of vegetables a day, and options such as broccoli powder will help address this,” he said.
The 100 per cent broccoli powder is made from whole broccoli, and produced using a combination of selected pre-treatment and drying processes to retain the natural colour, flavour and nutrient composition of fresh broccoli.
Lead researcher Mary Ann Augustin said the broccoli was high in protein and fibre, and health-promoting bioactive phytochemicals.
“The powders are an option for farmers who wish to produce value-added vegetable ingredients for the lucrative functional food markets,” she said.
“The broccoli powder has already been used for the production of extruded snacks with high vegetable content.”
The broccoli powder, and associated extruded snacks, are being developed as part of a larger research and development project which aims to reduce vegetable waste by creating healthy food products from “ugly” produce.
Dr Augustin said the next steps were to take the powder into further product development and consumer sensory evaluation trials.
MORNING FIX: Broccoli could soon end up in morning coffees around the country.