Value from Natural Resources

Our research identifies the beneficial properties of natural produce for the development of new foods and ingredients.

Fruits, vegetables, grains and seafood are rich sources of compounds that keep us healthy. Plant & Food Research has an extensive knowledge of these, their components and structures, how they interact with other components and how they influence our health. We identify components and combinations of components from fruits, vegetables, grains and seafood that offer health benefits and we are defining the mechanisms that bring about improved health. For example:

  • Natural chemicals from blackcurrants have been found to have three potential effects: minimising muscle damage by modulating oxidative stress, modulating inflammation, and enhancing the body’s natural defences against disease
  • Broccoli developed through our Vital Vegetables™ research programme with the Department of Primary Industries Victoria has been identified with high levels of gluccosinolates linked to cancer prevention
  • The chemistry and structure of plant-derived carbohydrates is proving important in processed foods targeted to provide sustained energy.

We also study how health-promoting components behave from the time they are harvested until when they are digested. This research helps to ensure the delivery of key components to human cells, where they act to enhance our health and wellbeing.

This knowledge is used in our breeding programmes to develop fresh produce with valued qualities and to develop new food ingredients, processed products and new food concepts.