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Australian jujube growers turn waste into sustainable new products

Australian jujube farmers have come up with innovative ways to turn their waste fruit into pantry staples for consumers after battling extreme weather and the coronavirus pandemic.

South Australian farmer like Ben Waddelow thought he was looking a bumper harvest, but rain split and damaged some of his fruit, after which he was also hit by the pandemic.

"This year with the COVID-19, we had a bit of extra fruit, and it was a little bit harder to sell so it gave us the idea 'well, we've got all this extra fruit we need to do something with it, we can't just let it fall on the ground'," Waddelow said. "We sell fresh fruit to the market but there is always those seconds and always the waste product."

This situation encouraged Waddelow and other growers to use their fruit to create bubbling premium brews, including beer.

"We thought we will try and make a vinegar so we can aim for the health food market and for the chefs, which can use it straight over salads, to give it that nice, really fresh but slightly acidic taste," he said.

It's a first of its kind in Australia and he hopes it will be embraced by consumers and give farmers a solution to make the industry more sustainable.


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