Banana flour

An Australian family business has gone bananas after they accidentally discovered a new super food.

For many years Rob Watkins and his family were among the largest banana growers in Australia, specializing in a variety known as Lady Fingers. This variety requires 25-30% more labour to grow than ordinary Cavendish bananas and also has a reduction of 50% less plants per acre due to their height. But week after week Rob would find himself disposing tonnes of beautiful Lady Fingers because they were too big, too straight or too bendy for the supermarket giants. The fruit was perfectly good for eating and packed full of nutrients, but the only species that would flock to the area were local wallabies and cattle. They were eating as many green Lady Fingers their tummies could handle.
Second generation farmer Rob Watkins noticed a dusty substance rise in the setting sun’s rays when he accidentally drove over a cluster of lady finger bananas at the family’s plantation some six years ago. After some experimentation, he and wife Krista produced a small batch of green banana flour and started selling it as a gluten-free alternative through a local cafe.

Orders began pouring in and now the couple’s Natural Evolution business is turning out five tonnes a week from a plant on their property, most of it for export to Japan and Europe.Demand has grown so strongly their 320-hectare property is at capacity and they are bringing in extra bananas from other growers. It has provided a profitable potential for the 500 tonnes of bananas dumped every week in Australia because they are the wrong size or shape for supermarkets.
It can replace other flours for sweet or savoury use. High in vitamins and minerals including magnesium, potassium and vitamin E, it has a wide range of nutritional benefits including high resistant starch content which can strengthen the immune system, speed up metabolism for weight loss, lower cholesterol and help prevent diabetes[1].

[1] De Silva et al: Women with metabolic syndrome improve antrophometric and biochemical parameters with green banana flour consumption in NutriciĆ³n Hospitalaria - 2014

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