Kagome Australia | Celebrating Australian Food and Agribusiness Innovations 2021
Kagome Australia’s history is steeped in tomato production and processing, with the company delivering high-quality, tomato-based pastes, purees and dices to local and international markets since 1996.
The Kagome facility also processes apple, pear, beetroot and carrot using the latest innovative technology to deliver value-added products that are both true to flavour and in tune with nature. Fostering a commitment to sustainable agricultural practices, the Kagome team has a keen interest in reducing the amount of crop loss through agricultural and processing waste.
In recognition of that aim, Kagome Australia developed Ninjin Fibre, an all-natural product derived from carrot processing, an activity that commonly sees around 25% of the total harvest yield lost to pulp.
Conceived as a binding agent, Ninjin Fibre carrot pulp is allergen-free and features a stable colour and mild taste, is easily emulsified with oil and is both pH- and heat-stable. These properties make it ideal for use as a meat extender and to increase fibre content. It can equally reduce fat absorption in fried products and improve the yield in bakery goods, making it an effective additive in many food production applications.
But the product’s wet format creates limitations that Kagome was eager to overcome, including substantial handling issues and high shipping costs due to weight. The company commenced work with Monash University and FIAL — under a matched funding arrangement — to determine a suitable process to convert Ninjin Fibre to dried powder format while still retaining its inherent properties.
While the new format will enjoy increased opportunity in food applications, research indicates that substantial potential also lies within the nutraceutical sector.
FIAL funding was used to research and identify drying methods and technologies, with the Monash University team making recommendation. Pilot- scale drying trials are underway and the company hopes to have the product fully commercialised in 2022.