A value chain approach to horticultural product innovation (AI13012)
What was it all about?
More than a quarter of fruit, vegetable and nut production in Australia is not sold as premium produce because it doesn’t meet retail specifications, because it is surplus from over-production or it is a by-product of the primary production or processing system.
This project was a one year scoping study, finalised in 2015, to identify new product opportunities for this produce.
There were two universities involved in the project, the University of Tasmania and the Central Queensland University.
Researchers in Tasmania examined new opportunities for under-utilised produce and identified six crops that showed the most promise: apples, blueberries, beetroot, cherries, green peas, and plums.
The Queensland component of the project identified eight key dimensions of value chains, and made a preliminary analysis of strategies that could assist companies forming chains to develop and market new products.
Between them, the teams identified opportunities for 23 crops to be converted into value added ingredients using processing, including as functional food and nutraceutical ingredients.
Of these, 14 crops were prioritised as best bets, based on product potential, proximity of production to processing facilities and cost of production of unsold product.
Crops with the greatest potential were:
· Green peas
· Table grapes
The work provides guidance for selecting opportunities for further research and development.