Dodolicious is a newly created, start-up business looking to produce a variety of products (including breads, muffins, cakes, pancakes and chips), which include plantain and banana for sale in café outlets and potentially, later, retail outlets in Nottingham. The business would like support from a business planning and technical perspective as regards commercialising the recipes to a point that they can start selling locally. HACCP and food safety aspects are being covered by interactions with the Food and Drink Forum.
- Advise on business plan and on approach to the operational setup of the business including communicating a suggested pathway to develop up such a food business.
- Literature search on existing scientific information about banana and plantain ripening and storage conditions to aid suggestions on strategies for ensuring the key raw material (bananas and plantains) can be stabilised and bulked up for baking with at a later date, allowing the business to exploit surplus banana and plantain supply yet be able to manage the potential changing volumes and qualities incoming.
- Consultation with the businss owner and the business plan to date, concluded in identification that the business needed to research, define and identify the raw material suppliers for the banana and plantain raw material as well as the end users and retailers of the products, as this would impact planning the operational setup and the selection of which products to develop to commercialisation first.
- A literature review was carried out and delivered to the business, concluding in a set of suggestions on how to process and treat the incoming raw material banana to be able to created a stabilsied ingredient for later use in baking. The review also identified additional positive health benefits of banana and plantain (above and beyond sugar reduction), offering the business extra USPs to feed into their marketing/busines plans.
- A decision diagram was produced to help the business make sense of all the influencing factors (technical, operational feasbility, market driven etc) that play into which product categories should be prioritised for intial commercialisation.
- A series of calls with the business owner were carried out, to problem solve technicalties of processng banana pulp as the business experimented with implementing suggested stabilistion processes at kitchen level.
- Practical advice on how to overcome challenges experienced by the business in sourcing banana surplus material, was given to help them identify a route to get small scale supply to start up one whilst having a scale up strategy for their business plan.
Benefit to the business
The business gained scientific knowledge about how bananas and plantains change chemically affecting functionally in product applications and nutritionally at different ripeness stages, as well as the typical processes that are used industrially in primary processing and stabilisation of banana ingredients and was able to use this at a kitchen level to create a primary process that stabilises banana pulp without losing organoleptic properties in storage. The business gained general insight into the technical steps and considerations to make when commercialising their product ideas.
The literature review identified a number of new USPs that they could exploit in their product marketing, associated with the use of banana pulp in bakery to improve the healthy properties without compromising on sensory acceptability.