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How I am Grounded upcycles coffee fruit waste into vegan snack bars

(Source: Supplied)

Queensland snack food brand I am Grounded has found an innovative way to upcycle coffee fruit waste into a flavoursome vegan, gluten-free snack.

According to the brand, about 60 to 80 per cent of coffee fruit is wasted during harvesting. However, the fruit is naturally high in antioxidants such as catechin – which prevents cell damage – and polyphenols, a natural prebiotic that aids in gut and brain health. 

Co-founder Vanessa Murillo, who migrated to Australia from Colombia, was first introduced to coffee fruit extract by her father who is a food scientist and innovator in the agri-tech space.

Murillo along with co-founder Lachlan Powell launched the brand in 2020. To date, it has upcycled 6.3 tonnes of coffee fruit.

“We are lucky enough to have developed strong direct relationships with farmer holders in Colombia,” said Murillo. “Through my family’s tie back to Colombia and our routes in coffee including farming, importing, and establishing coffee businesses here in Australia, I’ve grown up involved and immersed in the world of coffee.”

Founders Vanessa Murillo and Lachlan Powell.

The brand works directly with a group of 12 small farmers in Antioquia, Colombia to collect their coffee fruit when harvested.

The treats are made with whole and organic ingredients, each containing 10g of upcycled coffee fruit. They come in three flavours: Espresso Tahini and Coffee Fruit, Lemon Coconut and Coffee Fruit, and Cocoa Almond Butter and Coffee Fruit. 

The snack bars are available across IGA stores and a variety of health food stores, cafes and roasteries. They are also stocked in selected stores in New Zealand and the company ships internationally via its website.

The business has plans to launch a new superfruit caffeinated cluster and a range of mini bites later this year.

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