Vegeta­bles in the cof­fee cup

The Western Star - - RURALWEEKL­Y -

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.

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTE­D

MORN­ING FIX: Broc­coli could soon end up in morn­ing cof­fees around the coun­try.

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