Rob Watkins, Banana Farmer in Walkamin North Queensland was troubled by the amount of wasted fruit he would dump each week simply because it didn’t meet supermarket specification which is based on size and shape.
Like many things bananas grow in all shapes and sizes, some are straighter, more curved, shorter or taller whatever the attribute they are still nutritious and nourishing. It was while Rob was loading the semi of fresh fruit that he accidently drove over a green hand of bananas that had been sitting on the bitumen.
”It was like powder” describes Watkins, “Ï knew I had come across something very special” and immediately he began researching green banana consumption. What he found was that since the beginning of mankind many traditional cultures had in fact consumed raw green banana as a staple food source predominantly Plantain bananas.
The trick was no one really wants to eat let alone enjoy a raw green banana as they have a very tart, chalky consistency.
It was here that Rob worked his innovative mind in designing the first pilot plant to produce banana flour as the task of peeling a green banana is extremely onerous. Producing a mere 350kg per week and an 18 hour drying time.
Rob struggled to keep up with demand and knew that if he was to continue providing a taste sensation and a real nutrient dense, gluten free flour alternative to the world he would need to significantly upscale his operation.
With the assistance of Commercialisation Australia Rob has designed and built the world’s first and only pharmaceutical grade banana flour production plant. He has innovated a technique “nutro-lock” which sees fresh green bananas turned into banana flour in only 25 minutes. The process uses world first technology that protects the integrity of the product and cell structure, the process is cold and entirely organic, the nutrients are locked in within a matter of minutes. Banana flour is naturally high in magnesium, potassium, vitamin E and resistant starch.
With this innovation in the final stages of completion the expected output per week on single shift is approximately 5tonne of flour per week, however the plant has been designed to run on a 24 7 basis when required. Director of Natural Evolution Rob Watkins has continued his research and study of bananas and in addition to “Ultimate Gluten Free Baking Flour” which is banana flour for baking Natural Evolution also grow and produce the highest resistant starch food source derived from bananas grown at the plantation. This supplement grade of green banana resistant starch boasts incredible healing properties due to its prebiotic nature and has been dubbed the new superfood.
Not all banana varieties are equal some varieties are better for flour production while others due to their natural vitamin, mineral and resistant starch are more suited to supplement a diet.
For more information on Natural Evolution vist their website here