A new healthy vegetable snack, drawing on innovation from Australia’s national science agency CSIRO together with start-up Nutri V, will see food waste reduced and support farmers to be more sustainable.
The product, Nutri V Goodie snacks, which will hit Coles supermarket shelves nationally this month, contains broccoli, pumpkin and cauliflower, which can’t be sold and would otherwise have gone to waste, often as landfill or animal feed.
Raquel Said, CEO of Nutri V, explained that the company was born from a farming business with a passion for innovation and sustainability.
“Part of growing veggies can involve ending up with tonnes that don’t meet specification or there’s an oversupply and there’s stalks and leaves, yet it’s all still perfectly nutritious,” Ms Said explained.
“We wanted to create a business to upcycle that waste into a sustainable yet delicious solution, which is what we’ve done with the Nutri V vegetable powders, a star ingredient in Nutri V Goodie snacks,” she said.
“We see this as vegetables reimagined, no fork required, and we think it’s the future of helping Australians top up their veggie consumption while supporting farmers reduce waste.”
The Nutri V Goodies have two serves of vegetables in every pack and are a convenient option for people to increase their intake.
They have a higher vegetable content and health star rating than many other snack foods on the market.
CSIRO’s director of Agriculture and Food Dr Michael Robertson said vegetable-rich food innovation such as Nutri V helps farmers add real value to their businesses, while supporting sustainability in the agrifood sector.
“With CSIRO’s unique expertise and our world-class food research facilities, we can support the creation of healthy concept products and in the case of Nutri V, developing an innovative scaled process to take it to market,” Dr Robertson said.
“This partnership with a business at the forefront of agricultural production is a terrific example of how research can work with industry for the benefit of Australia.”
Coles Chief Executive of Commercial and Express Leah Weckert said they were proud to work alongside partners to develop an innovative product that supports Coles’ sustainability ambitions and makes it easier for Australians to increase their vegetable consumption.
“Coles is very excited to welcome Nutri V Goodies exclusively to our shelves. Our customers now have yet another way to enjoy Australian grown vegetables that are good for them and the environment,” Ms Weckert said.
“This innovative project highlights how working with Coles’ suppliers can help us achieve our Together to zero sustainability ambitions.”
Nutri V’s first processing module is located on the farm of their parent company, Fresh Select, one of Australia’s biggest brassica growers. The veggies are picked and sorted in the mornings, then washed, dried into powders and turned into the snacks by the afternoon.
It's a system Nutri V hopes to take to other vegetable growing areas in Australia to help them tackle their food waste as well.
CSIRO and Nutri V are also working together on a suite of veggie-based innovations using other CSIRO technologies.
CSIRO’s Kick-Start program, Aussie vegetable growers through Hort Innovation, and Sustainability Victoria all supported earlier stages of this work.
• Less than 10 per cent of Australian adults eat their recommended 5 serves of veg a day
• On average, 2-3 in every 10 vegetable plants planted on-farm are wasted. The amount of food that’s lost, or what is left behind in the field such as leaves and stalks, hasn’t been measured.
• Nutri V's mission is to see 100% crop yield used and all non-retail produce converted into nutritious ingredients and foods.
• According to the Australian Dietary Guidelines, the standard Australian serve of vegetables is 75g or around ½ cup of cooked vegetables, which is equivalent to 7.5g of Nutri V vegetable powder.