Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Waikato fast turning waste into wealth

Waikato fast turning waste into wealth


The Waikato is fast turning waste into wealth, thanks to New Zealand’s first and only independent product development spray dryer and a collection of the country’s world-class researchers.

Waikato Innovation Park is the first organisation in the region to receive funding from Bio-Resource Processing Alliance (BPA). The $28,000 is helping it develop a way to scale up commercial production of pure avocado powder - a project that was started on a small scale in 2013.

The BPA is a government funded initiative that helps New Zealand’s biological-based manufacturing businesses gain maximum value from waste and by-products, while reducing environmental impacts from primary production and manufacturing activities.

According to BPA general manager Trevor Stuthridge, the initiative has $2.5 million per year on offer to New Zealand companies and their research providers over the next five years.

“The challenge of how to capture more value from waste in our primary industries is huge.

For example, nearly half of New Zealand kiwifruit are not of sufficient quality for direct export; twenty per cent of harvested trees in New Zealand are left on the ground, and a significant amount of material from mussel harvesting is by-catch that gets thrown away.

“The BPA was established to help turn these types of wastes into products with export potential. Four research partners, AgResearch, Callaghan Innovation, Plant & Food Research, and Scion, are working with eligible organisations to apply new technologies and product opportunities to waste streams from New Zealand's forestry, marine, agricultural, orticultural, animal and microbiological industries,” Stuthridge said.

The Innovation Park’s avocado powder project is being done by its FoodWaikato division for Bay of Plenty company, Avocado Oil New Zealand. The pulp from blemished or otherwise non-saleable avocados is dried into a high value powder for use in cosmetic, nutraceutical and food products.

Thanks to FoodWaikato’s processing capabilities, last year Avocado Oil New Zealand launched a world-first 100 percent pure commercial avocado powder product known as Avopure.

The product is selling successfully in the USA, Japan, China and Australia.

Executive director of Avocado Oil New Zealand, Brian Richardson, says Avopure has a unique point of difference on the international stage compared to competitors.

“It is the first premium avocado powder available that contains no added fillers or carriers and contains higher levels of potassium, fibre and energy,” says Richardson.

Now, with support from the four BPA research partners, FoodWaikato is able to further improve the drying process with the aim of boosting commercial opportunities.

The BPA is funding $15,000 towards research by Massey University scientists and $13,000 towards making modifications to the FoodWaikato plant.

New Zealand Food Innovation Network business development manager Shane Kells said the overall aim is to increase throughput of the avocado drying process.

“Avocado pulp is extremely fibrous, so the BPA is working with us to find ways to break down the fibre and also decrease the thickness of the raw product. Because the product is so thick, this reduces how quickly we can process it through the drier. The aim is to increase throughput while maintaining the natural green colour of the raw fruit, and the preserving quality.”

A large part of the value in the BPA’s involvement with the avocado powder project is the opportunity for FoodWaikato to help other companies later duplicate the process with other waste foods.

“As far as we are aware, worldwide no one has come up with a commercially-viable solution to drying pure fruit or vegetable powders through a spray dryer at a fast enough rate that can satisfy projected market demand. If we can crack this challenge, we can help New Zealand growers capture enormous export value from their waste streams,” he said.

FoodWaikato is intent on getting the word out to food innovators within New Zealand and throughout Australasia that they’re here to help.

“The Waikato Innovation Park’s wider purpose is all about creating economic value for our region and the country by supporting companies to develop new products and new markets.

“FoodWaikato’s purpose is to contribute to the Park’s wider aim by supporting food innovators. Avocado Oil New Zealand’s story is just one example of how we’re making that happen,” Mr Kells said.

A workshop for those in the horticultural, forestry, marine, dairy, wool and meat industries is being held on 13 February at Waikato Innovation Park to outline the work of the BPA and the funding opportunities it provides. The avocado project will be used as a project example.

According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the BPA looks to help generate $100 million of additional added value to the NZ economy by 2020 through successful application of its outcomes to secondary streams arising from NZ's forestry, marine, agricultural, horticultural, animal and microbiological industries.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Anzac Issue Out Now: Werewolf 47

Hi and welcome to the 47th edition of Werewolf, published on the eve of Anzac Day. Its become a cliché to describe Gallipolli as the crucible of this country’s identity, yet hold on... Isn’t our national identity supposed to be bi-cultural... and wouldn’t that suggest that the New Zealand Wars of the 19th century is a more important crucible of national identity than those fought on foreign soil?

Yet as Alison McCulloch eloquently reveals in this month’s cover story, New Zealand devotes a mere fraction of its attention span and funding resources to commemorating the New Zealand Wars compared to what it devotes to the two world wars, Vietnam and Afghanistan... More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Crowdsourcing: Green Party Launches Internet Rights And Freedoms Bill

The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand’s first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Shane Jones Departure

Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the track. More>>

COMMENT:

Multimedia: PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference - April 22 2014

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • The recent improvement in the economy with a growing job market • Income and wealth inequality • Easter trading laws • The New Zealander killed in a drone strike in Yemen... More>>

Easter Trading: Workers 'Can Kiss Goodbye To Easter Sunday Off'

The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. More>>

ALSO:

ACT Don't Go For Maximum Penalty: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail

Three strikes for burglary was introduced to England and Wales in 1999. As in New Zealand, burglary was out of control and given a low priority by the police and the courts. A Labour government passed a three strikes law whereby a third conviction for burglaries earned a mandatory three years in prison... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home. More>>

ALSO:

Elections: New Electorate Boundaries Finalised

New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news