Pea Fractionation and Non-nut Products
The total Australian crop for peas is 221,000 tons, of which approximately one third is grown in South Australia. Grains Research and Development Corporation (GDRC) 2021 data indicates crop losses of 32% (comprising 16% down-grades, 4% feed and 11% unknown losses) at the farm gate. This causes significant loss of value to the farmer as well as being a source of food waste.
These losses are caused by a variety of natural conditions (frosts, drought, heat, seed size) and result in finished products that are too small and visually marked, but are nutritionally safe and sound. These “out of specification” products have a lower value. Whilst much of this material can still find a use as animal feed, it is not uncommon for this material to end up as food waste.
The challenge is to create a value-added product from this nutritionally safe and sound grain.
Together AG Schilling & Co and Department of Primary Industries and Regions, in collaboration with Fight Food Waste CRC, will investigate a bespoke combination of innovative processing treatments for “out of spec” peas, to improve their taste and health benefits, and thereby increasing their utility in a range of food products and reducing waste. These innovative processing treatments will be focussed on reducing the beaniness and bitterness of raw pea flour, creating new flavour profiles, analysing functional foods benefits, such as reducing the levels of antinutritional compounds, and analysing high protein concentrate opportunities.
This project has the potential to provide a new value-added stream for South Australian grain farmers and the opportunity to work with South Australian food manufacturers who are seeking new functional food ingredients for new prducts development, whilst collectively reducing food waste and bringing a more sustainable practice to Australia agriculture and the food industry, something which consumers globally are demanding.