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: Will rapprochement mean new research collaborations between Cuba and the U.S.?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Foragers find bounty of edibles in urban food deserts

Nov 18, 2014

With the gusto of wine enthusiasts in a tasting room, UC Berkeley professors Philip Stark and Tom Carlson eye, sniff and sample their selections, pronouncing them "robust," "lovely," "voluptuous"—and even ...

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 ...

Recommended for you

Study: Alcatraz inmates could have survived escape

Dec 17, 2014

The three prisoners who escaped from Alcatraz in one of the most famous and elaborate prison breaks in U.S. history could have survived and made it to land, scientists concluded in a recent study.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.