Woods Foods, part of the family owned Woods Group of companies, based in Goondiwindi, is one company capitalising on emerging consumer demand for more plant-based products, delivering high quality food ingredients for the food manufacturing sector. Woods Foods is committed to satisfying this demand by releasing a range of gluten-free pulses (chickpea, faba bean) and grain (sorghum) based food products for use in the food manufacturing industry.
Pulses are a group of legumes such as chickpeas, faba/broad beans, field peas, lentils, lupin and mungbeans. There are also a number of smaller and / or niche market crops such as azuki bean, navy bean, cowpea, vetch and pigeon pea. Within these types there are often numerous varieties, many of which have particular characteristics that suit differing markets. This diversity presents numerous opportunities for the broadacre cropping industry, as they can be grown as a rotation crop, and can be grown under 'dry-land' conditions, utilising the water stored in the soil rather than relying on irrigation. Pulses also offer nutritional benefits as a source of protein, dietary fibre and micronutrients, and are increasingly in demand from health-conscious consumers.
Sorghum, an ancient grain, is another Australian-grown grain that has the potential to offer a range of health benefits, as it is high in natural antioxidants and protein, low in fat, gluten-free and allergen-free. Similar to legumes, sorghum is predominantly grown under dry-land conditions, and plays a crucial role in maintaining farmer’s economic viability by providing a sustainable, cost-effective, non-GMO alternative summer crop to corn and cotton.
The combination of nutritional and environmental benefits of pulses and alternative grains like sorghum present a unique market opportunity, and one that has yet to see full potential in Australia.
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