INNOVATIVE NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT FOR THE AUSTRALIAN POTATO INDUSTRY

Potato P Project is completed!

This project has now been completed with a very favourable outcome from both a collaborative model and research finding perspective.

A solid achievement and encouraging results can be attributed to really sound collaboration with the Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DoAWR), PIRSA’s Rural Solutions SA, the University of Adelaide, service providers including Elders, EE Muir & Sons, CRT RuralCo and Landmark, and the industry. It was a highly cooperative project model which proved to be ideal in terms of participation and learning extension; the Association is very grateful for this level of support.

The final Steering Committee Meeting was held in late February to discuss the outcomes of the project and the final reporting methodology.  A Media Release concerning the DGT-P website (linked to the Association’s) was distributed on 21 March and the FinalReport was submitted to DoAWR on 15 April, following a two-week extension see media release and DGT link here.

A fabulous outcome is that DoAWR has requested a Case Study for this project. Ms Lyn Dohle RSSA will conduct this with one of the producers involved in the trial and it will be featured in dedicated future media and show-cased by the Department.

We are very keen to continue this work at a national level, across many soil types and for specific sectors and varieties. Please don’t hesitate to contact Dr Sean Mason This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +61 8 8313 8107/ 0422 066 635 or Ms Lyn Dohle This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +61 8 8553 4999 should you require any further information.

The final report will be provided on our website following sign-off from the Federal Government.

We all extend our congratulations to Project Leader, Mel Fraser on the birth of Mitchell Gray Chalmers on 27 March; a very reasonable basis for the two-week extension for project submission!

 

 

PIRSA’S ADVANCED FOOD MANUFACTURING GRANTS (AFMG) - ‘WASTE’ POTATO TRANSFORMATION

This all important work to discover innovative methodology to utilise out-graded potatoes is well underway. A University of Adelaide Honours student is assessing the suitability of mashed potato as a base for dip-style products, trialling many varieties with skins off/on.

We are negotiating with contract manufacturers who are able to produce purees with extended shelf life (more than 12 months) at room temperature. This pure potato product would include skins and be the basis for a manufacturer of potential individual paediatric servings and volume production for the nursing home/hospital/ADF sectors.

The business model proposes that suppliers of out-graded product would be the direct beneficiaries.

Watch this space for regular updates on project progress.

 

 

SARMS TRANSFORMING RIVERLAND FOOD LOSS AND INDUSTRY WASTE INTO PROFIT

This project, managed by SARDI and the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) and in collaboration with Citrus Australia, Yalumba Family Vignerons, Pernod Ricard Winemakers, Treasury Wine Estates, Accolade Wines, Regional Development Australia Riverland and HIA Ltd will enable understanding of under-valued waste streams in the potato industry and the wider horticultural sector and enable determination of economically viable options for value-adding food loss and industry waste.

It is funded under the Industry-led Research Sub-Program (IRSP) which is a part of the Regional Economic Development element of the $265m South Australian River Murray Sustainability (SARMS) Program. SARMS is funded by the Federal Government and delivered by PIRSA on behalf of the South Australian Government.

In the potato industry (we are the biggest cash contributor to the project and Chair of the Advisory Committee) twenty per cent of total production worth millions of dollars does not meet supermarket specification and is graded out as nil commercial value waste, based largely on size and shape, and is subsequently fed to livestock.

This project will provide valuable research into understanding under-valued waste streams in the potato industry and we are very pleased to continue our close working arrangement with PIRSA on this initiative.

The Project Objectives are to:

  • Identify and quantify food loss and industry waste (FL & IW) from the region

  • Evaluate existing infrastructure in the region that manages FL & IW

  • Assess FL & IW streams for opportunities to transform into higher value products

  • Identify technology/infrastructure gaps at the Loxton Research Centre that could transform FL & IW into higher value products

  • Conduct market insight studies to determine the market opportunities for food waste-derived products

The Project Advisory Committee’s second meeting was held on 7 April and the key outcomes included the progress made on the Literature Review and a survey developed by PIRSA which will be circulated to individual producers, processors and relevant service providers in the SARMS focus area of the Riverland/Murraylands/Murray Mallee regions. It is understood that vertically integrated businesses may cover all three surveys. The surveys are also available here:

Agriculture - http://tellus.sa.gov.au/index.php/949261/lang-en

Processing - http://tellus.sa.gov.au/index.php/154961/lang-en

Service Providers - http://tellus.sa.gov.au/index.php/286262/lang-en

The project will lead to new business and development opportunities, will further support the region’s environmental credentials and will enhance regional capabilities, employment and investment opportunities.

All completed surveys (where contact details are provided) will go into a draw for a 32Gb iPad Pro valued at $899.00.

For more information on the project please contact Dr Steve Lapidge, SARDI Director of Science Partnerships at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0401 990 367.

Watch this space for regular updates on project progress.