Cauliflower and broccoli pills: A potential use for vegetable waste?

September 02 , 2019

Australian farmers could soon be producing broccoli and cauliflower pills - one serving of vegetables in a tiny capsule.

The horticulture industry hopes demand for nutrient-rich powders and supplements will create a new market for vegetables and solve the problem of farm waste in the process.

It's an idea John Said, who grows vegetables on 2,000 hectares across the country, is helping to develop, ABC News reports.

"I mean it's a pretty big ask to say to someone, 'Here, just take this pill and it's a broccoli pill', but in the future, who knows?" he was quoted as saying.

"I mean if it's got other vitamins and minerals and perhaps other oils as well and it serves a really good purpose for the body, then by all means let's develop that."

It's also a chance to make something of the cauliflowers and broccolis that aren't picked at harvest time, with about 15% of his crop left on the ground.

"We've always thought about food waste, we've always thought about yield, but we've never been able to truly get a market or a particular process that addresses that issue," he was quoted as saying.

"So I think we're the closest we've ever been to being able to address an issue like that."

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, an independent Australian federal government agency,  approached  Said two years ago and asked if it could turn his waste into powders.

Scientists started with broccoli because it's the most nutritious vegetable.

"It's very high in protein," said project leader Luz Sanguansri. "Imagine 30 per cent of broccoli is protein on a dry basis, so we thought that's a good start."

It took 18 months to develop a powder that contains nearly all the same nutrients as fresh broccoli. The team then developed food products with the powder, including broccoli lattes and snacks.

The CSIRO is talking to a number of food companies and hopes to have products on supermarket shelves within a year.

Click here to read the full article on ABC News.

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