With Tropical North Queensland at the heart of banana growing in Australia, a local company has come up with an ingenious use for excess green banana produce that was otherwise at risk of going to waste.
For centuries, bananas have played a vital role in the healthy diets of humans and animals alike. For hundreds of years, many elite athletes have chosen bananas to reach their maximum performance potential.
Much like for humans, supplements derived from green bananas for a healthy gut are now being used in the equine industry, thanks to local company Banana Feeds Australia.
Using produce grown locally in Far North Queensland, Australia’s most productive and pristine growing regions, Banana Feeds Australia has delivered a range of retail-ready products in its purpose-built production facility for animal lovers throughout Australia to supplement their animals’ existing diets.
“When we started looking at the real attributes of the green banana from a nutritional level for humans, we did ask ourselves why we hadn’t thought of this for our horses,” said John McArthur, Director of Banana Feeds Australia.
“The antioxidants, polyphenols and flavonoids, the dopamine and the serotonin, which all naturally occur in the dry green banana, were all going to be beneficial for horses.
“We set about trying to create a factory where we could process and deliver a product that is really innovative, and most importantly 100% natural.”
Gut health is a key nutritional factor in racehorses, as they can be particularly susceptible to digestive issues and stomach ulcers. As the gut is the largest immune organ in the animal, this stability promotes immune competence, allowing the animal to counter bacterial, fungal, viral or parasitic challenges.
Gut stability also improves digestion, feed utilisation and temperament. In addition, green bananas have been shown to have antiulcerogenic properties. With the help of B-Complete, research shows these ailments in the animals are drastically reduced, improving overall health, appetite and body condition.
“We have undertaken a lot of research with the University of Adelaide through a grant that we received from the Cooperative Research Centre’s ‘Fight Food Waste’ program,” said John.
“Certainly, when we delved a little bit deeper with the laboratory analysis, we found that the green bananas had some wonderful attributes that weren’t out there in a natural format in any other products that we could see.
“The calming agents of the dopamine and serotonin certainly assist in the animals becoming far more relaxed. We’ve seen the benefits of that through a lot of different disciplines.
“We’ve had horses that couldn’t perform in barriers, and stewards were concerned about the health of the horses. They have now been on B-Complete and certainly are far more relaxed in that environment.”
Go to www.bananafeedsaustralia.com for more information on the company or to purchase Banana Feed Australia’s green banana feed supplement