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Completed project

Commercial feasibility of banana waste utilisation in the processed food industry (BA09025)

Key research provider: The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Publication date: Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What was it all about?

Significant volumes of banana cannot be sold through the fresh fruit retail avenues because they do not meet retailer specifications. In many cases this rejected fruit is simply shredded and spread over paddocks. This project, which ran from 2009 to 2010 sought to determine opportunities for using this waste banana in the food industry.

Researchers interviewed and surveyed those involved in banana growing, packing and marketing to characterise the extent, location and fate of the reject crop.

A review of banana products showed that from July 2009 to January 2010 over 1,000 new products containing banana were launched into overseas markets, indicating opportunities for Australia.

New approaches for processing were investigated through review of the scientific and patent literature and six concept processed banana products were developed for consideration by industry of market viability.

There were two types of processing options…

  • Banana ingredients such as frozen banana, pulp, juice and syrups where there is no or limited point of differentiation from imported ingredients other than labelling it “local” or “Australian sourced”.

  • Niche products where differentiation from imported products can be achieved. Examples were fresh-cut banana snacks where a short shelf life confers market access barriers, products based on new technologies such as high pressure cold pasteurization of juices and functional foods based on the health benefits of bananas.

The researchers recommend future research and development for both options. A review of the logistics for processing or semi-processing at a centralised depot in the main banana growing area is required to determine cost efficiencies.

Novel products featuring the health and taste of bananas would not only make use of waste bananas but would also highlight the benefits of banana products to boost fresh fruit sales.

Related levy funds


Funding statement:
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2013. The Final Research Report (in part or as whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation (except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)).