Broccoli coffee tipped to be the next health food craze
BROCCOLI coffee - yes you read that right - could be the next health food craze according to CSIRO researchers.
The broccoli lattes are one of several applications that have been put forward as a use of a new product developed by Hort Innovation and CSIRO.
A powder produced from the green vegetable is being touted as a solution to Australia's health problems as well as reducing farming related waste.
The powder is said to contain a whole serve of broccoli in just two tablespoons, and is made from vegetables that don't make the cut for market and would normally be wasted.
Director of Lockyer Valley farming operation Qualipac, Troy Qualischefski, said that on average, 10 per cent of their harvest was wasted.
"Weather is the main factor in broccoli being out of spec," Mr Qualischefski said.
"It can also be too big - size is probably what's critical in broccoli. The flavour's just the same, it's just that it's out of spec for that premium size."
Mr Qualischefski said while there were some uses for "ugly produce", most would not be harvested.
"It can be fed to cattle if it comes to the packing shed, but if it's not viable you don't harvest it - so it gets ploughed back into the ground."
Hort Innovation chief executive John Lloyd said the powder could be used for smoothies, soups, and baking and as a way to hide broccoli from fussy children.
"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," Mr Lloyd said.
Mr Qualischefski said he was cautiously excited by the research, but would wait to see further research.
"The way we look at it as an industry is if there's other uses for the by-product it's wonderful - it gets rid of it and creates demand for the product," he said.
"We're always interested in new things - whether it's viable, only time will tell."
But when it came to adding a few spoonfuls of broccoli to his morning coffee - he was less excited by the prospect.
"No way in God's green earth would I do that - I look at it enough every day," he said.