$10m boost for superfood research in Australia

Posted on 10 January 2017

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$10m boost for superfood research

In Australia, a project to search for new 'superfoods' has received $10 million in funding. The Queen Garnet superplum and SuperGold sweet corn are two recent developments in the quest to find foods with extra health benefits. The plum received national attention more than a year ago as it has blood pressure lowering properties. The SuperGold sweet corn is able to protect against macular degeneration, a disease the leads to vision loss.

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation's Dr Tim O'Hare, who developed the new variety, said consumers were having trouble spotting which variety gave the biggest benefit.

Health Benefits

"Previous products that had elevated health properties were difficult for consumers to differentiate in the supermarket, and their health benefits were long-term and difficult to measure," Dr O'Hare said in a release.

"The consumer had to have faith in something they could not see, and trust in the product's long-term benefits."

The project, titled Naturally Nutritious, will be led by Dr O'Hare and will focus on identifying fruit, vegetables and nuts with a potential for health benefits.

Once identified the researchers will develop the variety through various techniques to promote the element that is beneficial to the consumer.

Potential candidates for the superfood category could include strawberries that could improve the growth of unborn babies, macadamias that could improve cardiovascular health and a capsicum that could improve eyesight.

Another part of the project will be clinical trials on humans to measure how much of a benefit the foods are.

Source: brisbanetimes.com.au

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