CSIRO is turning red meat into nutritious powder. 

CSIRO is targeting a $3.8 billion health and wellness market opportunity with its Just Meat protein powder, which can be used in products that have mostly remained elusive to the meat sector. 

The powder’s nutritional and allergen-free profile should mean it appeals to a wide audience in products ranging from protein balls and shakes to energy drinks.    

Experts say the powder has the potential to grow Australia’s $75.4 billion red meat industry, by capturing more value from a greater percentage of the carcass.  

Dr Aarti Tobin, animal protein lead for CSIRO’s Future Protein Mission, says the powder can be used as-is or as an ingredient in a wide range of products.  

“The advantage of a meat-based protein is that it naturally contains all essential amino acids, as well as high iron, zinc and magnesium,” Dr Tobin said.

“It’s mild in flavour and highly soluble so we’ve easily added it to snacks like sweet protein balls in our product development kitchen, with promising results to take to product trials.

“We're looking at new protein products to meet changing consumer preferences and which will play a big role in feeding a growing world population that’s set to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.” 

The protein powder is also expected to support food security by delivering meat’s nutritional benefits to remote locations or in disaster relief by overcoming refrigeration and transportation hurdles.  

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) is an investor and collaborator in the product’s development.  

“There is a growing global demand for convenient and nutritious food as the world’s population increases,” said MLA Group Manager Science and Innovation, Michael Lee.

“Products like this meat protein powder can help to cater to this demand by providing a shelf-stable, easily transportable and versatile source of protein.   

“By converting meat into essentially a food ingredient this also creates another revenue stream for the industry beyond our traditional meat trading options.”   

CSIRO says it is working with commercial partners and investors to take the protein powder innovation to market.