New life for second grade bananas

Claire TyrellCountryman

Carnarvon's Sweeter Banana Co-operative has found a way to turn waste into a valuable product through its new banana loaf.

Soon to be launched on the shelves of more than 100 metropolitan and regional retailers, the bread uses bananas classed as second grade and usually mulched.

Sweeter Banana Cooperative business manager Doriana Mangili said a lot of bananas fell into this category this season, after water shortages and a heatwave challenged production.

"Growing conditions resulted in a proportion of bananas being classed as second grade, due to external markings on the skin, " she said. "They are perfectly fine to eat, but are not suitable to retailers.

"Sweeter Banana is working on a special recipe to make a Buy West Eat Best certified banana loaf, using WA flour and its own sweeter bananas."

She said the bananas would be trucked to Perth, and processed into bread.

Banana grower and Carnarvon Growers Association chief executive Bruce Munro said the banana bread product was years in the making.

He said Sweeter Banana's access to Coles, Woolworths and IGA would help market the product.

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