Waste is a significant and costly issue for Australia’s beleaguered banana growers. At the same time, our equine industry is crying out for cheaper antioxidants to help ‘strenuously exercising’ horses avoid equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS), which otherwise affects 60–100% of them.
Banana Feeds Australia Pty Ltd, a Far North Queensland-based SME affiliated with the Fight Food Waste CRC, is keen to turn whole green bananas – produce that would otherwise be wasted – into high-nutrient, high-value feed that benefits equine health. But to do so, the company has to prove the beneficial health properties of its banana base.
The FFW CRC project aims to develop a nutraceutical profile of the ‘dried banana crumble’, identifying bioactive compounds with potential applications in equine health, such as preventing EGUS or delivering potent antioxidants.
A broader goal is to reduce on-farm banana waste by finding alternate end-users for it, increasing returns to growers.
By identifying further nutritional benefits to bananas, the research will also help enhance the credentials of the Australian banana industry as a whole.
Source: Banana feeds Australia equine scoping study I Fight Food Waste CRC