“Eat your vegetables!” may not have been a prevalent command — nor an obeyed one — among Australian parents. Four out of five adults in Australia don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables to meet the national dietary guidelines, a survey conducted by Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation found last year.
In collaboration with horticultural group Hort Innovation, CSIRO decided to find new ways to introduce greens into Australian diets. As part of a research project that aims to reduce vegetable waste, they decided to grind unused broccoli at grocery stores into powder. This prevents the broccoli from being thrown out, and also reaps several health benefits.
Every two tablespoons of the powder contain one serving of broccoli. It is high in protein and fibre, and contains health-promoting bioactive phytochemicals, according to CSIRO's lead researcher Mary Ann Augustin.
One cafe in Melbourne, Commonfolk Coffee, has already begun serving the broccoli powder in its lattes.
The powder can also benefit farmers who want to produce “value-added vegetable ingredients for the lucrative functional food markets,” Augustin said.
The next steps for CSIRO and Hort Innovation are to take the powder into product development and consumer sensory evaluation trials, as well as discuss potential commercial applications with produce growers across Australia.
But not everyone is on board with this new trend.