GrainOut and Monash Food Innovation (MFI) partnered on a program aimed at valorising pea pollard. This program utilised multi-disciplinary teams of Monash University students to tackle the challenge, exploring milling and processing techniques, the Australian market, and the unique proposition of pea pollard as an ingredient.

Tutelage in MFI’s proven Methodology of Innovation for both Monash University students and GrainOut aims to increase the odds of success for new products and derisk innovation. Outputs from the program include a market opportunity proposition, detailed insights into the Australian market and competitor landscape, and a pipeline of new product ideas centred around pea pollard. After an assessment of the market and existing products, prototypes of new product innovations based on that strategic analysis are created.

Project background

This project established a process to upcycle the food waste products into value added products suitable for human consumption. This project focused on increasing the value of pea pollard by diverting it from animal feed. This waste stream was developed into three new food innovations. The project also established a process of consolidating, blending, re-packing, and selling food waste-products into food products for human consumption.

GrainOut specialises in value added and sustainability solutions for food waste from manufacturing and secured an ongoing supply of pea pollard. GrainOut offers solutions using circular economy principles for large food and beverage manufacturers.

Research indicated that there are opportunities and a consumer need for developing new food products characterised by high nutritional value and potential for being an alternative source of non-meat protein. states that the industry produces specialty flours such as organic, gluten free and multi-grain targeted at specific types of baking products such as pizza bases or cakes. Based on the report there is no existing market for pea flour even in the niche specialty flour segment.

The project contributed to the Victorian State Government/Sustainability Victoria’s ‘Path to Half Report’ by providing projects to help reduce Victoria’s $6 billion costs of food waste.

Project objectives

The benefit of the project to GrainOut increased the value of its products (food waste from manufacturing). The project raised the profile of GrainOut for food manufacturers wanting to increase the value of their food waste. The project also developed a partnership with Monash University’s MFI, capitalised on the growth of plant-based foods and utilised an existing model set up by Intelligent Foods in The Netherlands.

The benefit of the project to MFI was the collaboration with GrainOut, which developed future opportunities and experience for Monash students exposed to GrainOut and the Victorian food manufacturing industry. The project developed Monash University’s agri-food sector by enabling students to gain industry experience through industry engagement and working on commercialisation projects.

Target sectors or supply chains

It benefited Victorian food manufacturers, by providing solutions on how to channel their food waste to food for human consumption. This facilitated food manufacturers to increase the value of their food waste (by-products and ingredients). The test-case of developing product concepts for new food products from pea pollard provided GrainOut’s food manufacturing customers a real-life example of how to re-purpose food waste from manufacturing into new food products. Victorian food manufacturers benefited from access to leading talent and Monash University’s expanse of leading research and development capabilities.

Victorian community

The project provided economic benefits via maintaining food waste in the food chain. This reduced the amount of food required to be produced. The project made Victoria an innovation leader by developing plant-based food concepts from food waste. The project provided invaluable experience for students to gain knowledge in the agri-food sector and be equipped with job ready skills and methodologies.

The Circular Economy Business Innovation Centre

This project provided CEBIC with research and information into new methods in re purposing food waste from manufacturing into new food products for other CEBIC members and Victorian businesses. The Collaboration between GrainOut and MFI provided increased awareness and understanding to CEBIC members and Victorian businesses. The project enabled GrainOut to support CEBIC in promotional material to assist reducing and making better use of food waste.

Project achievements

GrainOut collaborated with MFI to identify and assist with a process for using waste by-product to develop new plant-based food products. GrainOut chose to use its pea pollard waste (a food waste product resulting from pea and lentil processing) as GrainOut has a consistent and ongoing supply.

GrainOut identified innovative new ideas utilising MFI’s New Frontiers program and Monash University to assist in the development of new plant-based (pea pollard) food concepts. MFI’s methodology for innovation focused on the front end of the product development process with a user centric approach. The New Frontiers program provided detailed analysis on the Australian market and consumer insights that inform GrainOut with current trends and data. This process generated a pipeline of new product ideas relating to GrainOut’s business challenge. The new product ideas were then tested with leading techniques and consumer insights to produce final product concept designs of a new plant-based food product (complete with packaging and label designs).

GrainOut also established a process for repurposing food waste from manufacturing (by-products and ingredients) by transforming them into new products or packaging formats suitable for scale up. GrainOut used its existing customer network to procure existing products. GrainOut then transformed pea kibble by consolidating, blending and making into high quality pea flour so it was a more suitable food products for human consumption.