Ponder ideas over a “broccolatte”

Try pondering new ideas over a “broccolatte”


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Now there's broccoli coffee, no idea is off limits.

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Editorial

IT is something that would be joked about in schoolyards around the nation – broccoli-flavoured coffee.

Yet there it was at Hort Connections 2018 – and folk were lining up for it.

A joint project between the CSIRO and Hort Innovation, the broccoli latte (also dubbed the "broccolatte") was a great headline grabber and certainly proved popular at the nation's largest horticulture gathering in Brisbane last month.

Basically it involved adding a spoonful of powderised broccoli into a barista-made coffee.

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Reports were largely positive; some said they could taste the broccoli, others suggested for all intents and purposes, it tasted just like a well-made latte but with the positive vibe of a secret health kick.  

The test product was more than a gimmick though.

Even if the broccolatte doesn't take off as the next hip beverage to be seen to be drinking on the way to work (a slightly green recycled cardboard cup could be a marketing hit), it presents boundless options for what can be done with vegetables, fruits, nuts and herbs.

If you let your mind wander as to what could be possible, it enters into territory largely occupied by famous British scientist-chef, Heston Blumenthal.

It is a stimulus for ideas and out-of-the-box thinking.

Not every idea is going to fly but dreaming costs nothing, and sometimes the silly ideas are the ones that prompt the game-changers as they become stepping stones for more commercially viable products.

If you let your mind wander as to what could be possible, it enters into territory largely occupied by famous British scientist-chef, Heston Blumenthal.

So with the proven ability to turn broccoli into powder, here are some free-thinking potential innovations to help propel the horticulture industry forward.

Some products may already exist, others might be a bridge too far, but all are worth pondering.

  • Edible citrus glass: Glass is essentially made from sand, right? So why not powderise citrus and turn it into tainted glass. Think of the packaging possibilities and cocktail parties.  
  • Eggplant napkins: Take the humble eggplant and turn its fibres into something that can be sewn and worked with. Hey presto- an edible, purple napkin.
  • Corn toupees: The "silk" at the top of a corn cob already looks like hair. Surely, with a bit of science this could be harvested to be utilised by costume manufacturers or those in the hair repair industry.
  • Alfalfa sprout carpet: Imagine a living carpet that is not only a talking point in any lounge room but also provides clean air and a healthy salad additive.
  • Husk fencing: Husks are often the discarded product from various nut crops. Processed and compressed into a hardened, timber-like form could mean a new era in sustainable building products.

The potential for fresh produce is largely untapped.

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