Broccoli coffee comes to Melbourne
Incorporating more vegetables into the diet can be difficult, especially for children, but a new powdered broccoli that can be stirred into other foods and drinks may be the answer.
Imperfect-looking broccoli that would have otherwise been wasted has been converted into a nutrient-rich powder by Hort Innovation and CSIRO. They developed the powder, and a number of extruded snacks, as part of a larger research and development project that aims to reduce waste and up the nation’s intake of vegetables by creating healthy food products from ‘ugly’ produce.
There is approximately one serve of broccoli in every two tablespoons of powder, and Hort Innovation Chief Executive John Lloyd said the powder would appeal to those seeking healthier lifestyles and parents who struggle with children who are fussy eaters.
“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,” said Lloyd. “Research shows 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.”
It can be surreptitiously mixed into smoothies and soups, and one Melbourne cafe, Common Folk, has begun to experiment with broccoli lattes. While its use in coffee received mixed reviews, parents and children have shown a largely positive response to the extruded snacks with 20–100% vegetable content.
Made from whole broccoli, the processing of the powder retains the natural colour, flavour and nutrient composition of fresh broccoli. CSIRO’s Mary Ann Augustin, lead researcher, said the broccoli was high in protein and fibre, and health-promoting bioactive phytochemicals.
The next steps are to further develop the product and test it with consumers with the hope of making it commercially available in the future.
“The powders are an option for farmers who want to produce value-added vegetable ingredients for the lucrative functional food markets,” Augustin said. “The CSIRO team and Hort Innovation are discussing potential commercial applications with produce growers and grower groups across Australia who are interested in getting the powder on the market.”
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