Native fruits bear sweet antioxidants

Aug 02, 2007
Native fruits bear sweet antioxidants
Food Science Australia researcher, Dr. Izabela Konczak. Credit: CSIRO

Twelve native Australian fruits that are exceptional sources of antioxidants have been identified in research published in the journal Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies.

The fruits: Kakadu plum, Illawarra plum, Burdekin plum, Davidson’s plum, riberry, red and yellow finger limes, Tasmanian pepper, brush cherry, Cedar Bay cherry, muntries and Molucca raspberry; were compared with blueberries (cultivar Biloxi) – a fruit renowned for its high antioxidant properties.

“Finding unique food ingredients and flavours with health-promoting properties is a key market requirement these days,” says research team leader, Food Science Australia’s Izabela Konczak. “And, by encouraging growers to cultivate native fruits, we are also contributing to the growing need to ensure agriculture becomes more sustainable.”

Co-author Dr Michael Netzel – a post-doctoral researcher at Food Science Australia supported by Germany’s Alexander von Humboldt Foundation – says the native fruits were shown to be rich sources of antioxidants, with stronger radical scavenging activities than blueberries.

“Compared to blueberries’ TEAC value of 39.45 trolox equivalents per gram, Kakadu plum and Burdekin plum had TEAC values of 204.8 and 192.0 trolox equivalents per gram,” Dr Netzel says.

“Using native Australian fruits as a source of phytochemicals for use in foods could offer enormous opportunities for the food and functional food industries.

“Studies to identify additional antioxidant compounds as well as clinical trials for testing the fruits’ bioactivity in vivo, are in progress.” he says.

While Australian native fruits have been eaten by indigenous people for thousands of years, this is the first scientific study of the fruits as a source of antioxidants and confirms preliminary results published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2006.

This research supports CSIRO efforts to realise the potential of Australia’s fledgling native food industry which is currently estimated to be worth $14 million annually.

Source: CSIRO Australia

Explore further: Education Dept awards $75M in innovation grants

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Texas producers find new oil fields—olive groves

Sep 09, 2014

Texas has been known for its oil production for almost 150 years. Now, a new oil industry is sprouting in what may bring producers cash and consumers a local, edible choice—olive oil.

Plant diversity in China vital for global food security

Sep 08, 2014

With climate change threatening global food supplies, new research claims the rich flora of China could be crucial to underpin food security in the future. The research was presented at the British Science Association's ...

Invasive insect threatens iconic Florida citrus

Aug 24, 2014

The tourists stream to Florida in their cars, intent on a week at Disney or a sugar-sand seashore or a nonstop party on South Beach. Road weary and thirsty, they pull over at one of the state's five official ...

Recommended for you

Research band at Karolinska tuck Dylan gems into papers

Sep 29, 2014

(Phys.org) —A 17-year old bet among scientists at the Karolinska Institute has been a wager that whoever wrote the most articles with Dylan quotes before they retired would get a free lunch. Results included ...

A simulation game to help people prep for court

Sep 25, 2014

Preparing for court and appearing before a judge can be a daunting experience, particularly for people who are representing themselves because they can't afford a lawyer or simply don't know all the ropes ...

When finding 'nothing' means something

Sep 25, 2014

Scientists usually communicate their latest findings by publishing results as scientific papers in journals that are almost always accessible online (albeit often at a price), ensuring fast sharing of latest ...

User comments : 0