A powder made from imperfect broccoli could soon end up in your coffee cup.
A powder made from imperfect broccoli could soon end up in your coffee cup.

Broccoli lattes could become a thing

REMEMBER how suspicious you were the first time you saw someone drinking a green smoothie?

But now they're practically a staple in the average foodie's diet? Okay maybe not quite, but you get the gist - the most unexpected concoctions can become popular.

Well then say hello to what could be the next big fad: broccoli lattes.

With Hort Innovation and CSIRO researchers developing a powder made from imperfect-looking brocolli, green, nutrient-rich coffees may be on the horizon for aussie coffee lovers.

The product, made from broccoli which usually would have been wasted, packs a healthy punch with approximately one serve of broccoli in every two tablespoons of powder.

Hort Innovation chief executive John Lloyd said in addition to hot coffees, the powder could be used for smoothies, soups, baking and as a way of hiding broccoli from fussy kids in meals.

"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.

He also said despite the increasing popularity of superfoods and health and wellness, Australian diets were still poor.

"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," he said.

The 100 per cent broccoli powder 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.

The 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 extruded snacks with high vegetable content.

"Prototype 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 parents and even by kids."

The broccoli powder, and associated extruded snacks, 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," she said.