CSIRO develops red meat powder to beef up drinks, snacks

Fancy a steak in your shake?

Beef lovers can look forward to the next best thing, with a new red meat powder set to boost beverages and snacks.

Developed by national science agency CSIRO, Just Meat protein powder may appear an unlikely choice for sports nutrition supplements.

But the powder is part of a bold plan to target the health and wellness sector, potentially adding up to almost $4 billion in value to Australia’s red meat industry.

The powder is made out of manufacturing grade meat, with plans to utilise the rest of the carcass such as offal.

It has already been successfully tested in shakes, bars, protein balls and juice.

Some may have a beef with anyone suggesting meat be added to their smoothie.

But CSIRO has not minced its words over the powder, backing Just Meat to help meet a growing demand for protein.

“Innovation like this is crucial because we need to produce more protein, from more sources, sustainably to meet a growing world population,” CSIRO’s Aarti Tobin said.

“We wanted to bring red meat into a space where it doesn’t exist at the moment.

“We came up with this idea of making a powder. It takes away the need to chill or freeze meat, it has a longer shelf life and it can be used in a whole range of products.”

It comes after a CSIRO “Protein Roadmap” report estimated targeting the health and wellness market could add $3.8 billion in value to Australia’s red meat industry by 2030.

It is believed the powder’s possibilities range from enhancing food for the elderly to boosting energy drinks or protein shakes.

The powder has all of red meat’s protein and nutrients but is mild in flavour to ensure its versatility.

The allergen-free powder is suitable for people with dairy or soy intolerances and easily dissolves in water.

“A lot of the nutrition that comes from a meat is still there and it’s very easily absorbed by the body,” Dr Tobin said.

“And because it is highly soluble it just dissolves in there. That is its novelty – you don’t usually get juices or things like that are high in protein.”

It also has the potential to grow Australia’s $75.4 billion red meat industry by getting more value by using a greater percentage of the carcass.

“At the moment we are taking it out of the manufacturing grade meat,” Dr Tobin said.

“But in the future we would like to use the other stuff. We could utilise offal or hide but that is way in the future.”

Just Meat taste testings will be held at Beef 2024 in Rockhampton on Thursday, with the CSIRO looking for investors and commercial opportunities.


Laine Clark
(Australian Associated Press)


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