In 2017, Australian Plant Proteins (APP) recognised the increase in consumer demand for plant-based protein sources, especially in the health and wellness sector, as a sustainable replacement for animal proteins.
With the company directors growing up on farms in regional Victoria, APP sought to develop a premium plant-based protein powder from Victorian-grown pulses, in particular faba beans.
After completing several small-scale manufacturing runs of their proprietary processing technology at the CSIRO Food Innovation Centre in Werribee, APP took their prototype to market and found that the powder they produced was a high-demand ingredient for a range of food products in both national and international markets.
Not content with their current processing achievements, APP wanted to establish an optimised process to separate the protein fraction of faba bean concentrate, and produce a powder with significantly better functional properties (taste, odour, colour and solubility) than other products on the market. This would enable them to break into the burgeoning American and Canadian markets, dominated by soy and pea based protein powders, and provide confidence to seek capital to set up a production facility in regional Australia.
APP also sought to further develop their strategy for using the associated starch and fibre by-products.
Led by CSIRO food manufacturing specialist Darren Gardiner, APP undertook a CSIRO Kick-Start project to optimise faba bean powder production, including testing the feasibility of ultrafiltration to increase the protein concentration. Using commercial-scale equipment, Darren’s team identified and optimised a number of processing parameters to achieve a final faba bean powder protein content of greater than 80 per cent – far greater than the 40-45 per cent protein of traditional plant-based powders.
This is now one of five products sold all over the world!
After the success of the CSIRO Kick-Start project, in 2020 APP established a $35-million plant-protein processing facility in Horsham, Victoria, creating dozens of jobs and broad acre farming opportunities and representing a major economic boost for the agricultural industry in the Wimmera region. They continue to expand this processing facility, and have since been able to attract $45.7 million investment from major global agri-food company Bunge.
More recently in February 2022 announced they would establish a new manufacturing hub in South Australia, with support from the state and federal government.
All outcomes have assisted us in fine tuning our by-product strategy and equipment sizing needs for our production facility.
—Phil McFarlane, APP's Managing Director
Find out more and apply
- Program Eligibility and Guidelines PDF (170 KB)
- Program Eligibility and Guidelines - text version TXT (11 KB)
- Expressions of Interest form DOCX (48 KB)
For more information and to apply, please get in touch with our CSIRO Kick-Start Program team:
Dr Megan Sebben
Kick-Start Program Manager (SCIENCE CONNECT)
Dr George Feast
Deputy Director, SME Connect (SCIENCE CONNECT)