Look, to say I’m an advocate of Australian Scientists is a bit of an understatement. I mean, what they’ve been able to achieve under extreme circumstances with little more than the change they found under the couch cushions is incredible.
But I’m worried, dear reader. I think they’ve gone too far.
“BROCCOLI LATTES COULD BE A THING!” they tell me.
This is a press release I recieved from my friends – at least I thought they were my friends – at the CSIRO this morning.
Green, nutrient-rich coffees may be on the horizon after researchers have developed a powder made from imperfect-looking broccoli that would have previously been wasted.
The product, developed by Hort Innovation and CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, packs a healthy punch with approximately one serve of broccoli in every two tablespoons of powder.
It was a Melbourne cafe that jumped straight on the broccoli coffee train, because of course it was. the reviews, CSIRO says, were “mixed.”
Hort Innovation chief executive John Lloyd is therefore pushing the powder for use in more than just our morning brew – smoothies, soups, baking are all options, and quite frankly make way more sense, thank you very much.
“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,” Lloyd said.
He also said despite the increasing popularity of “superfoods” and health and wellness, Australian diets are still poor. It probably doesn’t help that those “superfoods generally cost the same as a garage space in the Sydney CBD.
“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,” Lloyd said.
About that broccoli powder.
It 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, CSIRO’s Mary Ann Augustin, said the broccoli was high in protein and fibre, and health-promoting bioactive phytochemicals, making it an ideal candidate for powder development.
“The powders are an option for farmers who want to produce value-added vegetable ingredients for the lucrative functional food markets,” Dr Augustin said.
The broccoli powder has already been used for the production of snacks with high vegetable content.
Dr Augustin said extruded snacks with 20-100 per cent vegetable content were displayed during National Science Week at the Queen Victoria Market last year and were well-received by adults and kids.
The broccoli powder 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.
The next steps, Dr Augustin said, are to take the powder into further product development and consumer sensory evaluation trials.
“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,” Dr Augustin.
John Said, managing director of Fresh Select, a leading broccoli producer, is excited by the commercial opportunities available through the development of the value-added broccoli ingredients and products.
“I see this project as the emerging new food trend,” Mr Said said.
“Australians don’t eat enough vegetables and farmers across Australia will have access to an alternative market whilst improving farm yields and sustainability.”
Dammit, there are some great points in there. But I don’t know if I’m entirely convinced I want broccoli in my cuppa.