Health benefits of Australian native foods


  • Project code: PRJ-002330

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Friday, June 20, 2008

  • Project completion date: Thursday, July 30, 2009

  • National Priority: NEPI-Feasibility studies and industry literature reviews


The aim of this project is to obtain scientifically credible information to the health-enhancing compounds found in the selected native Australian frutis and herbs: Kakadu plum, two varieties of Davidson’s plum (Davidsonia jerseyana and D. pruriens), desert lime, lemon aspen, Tasmanian pepper berry and leaf, lemon myrtle, anise myrtle, bushtomato and wattleseed. More specifically, the levels of selected compounds such as phenolics and carotenoids will be determined using High Performance Liquid Chromatography. Major compounds will be identified with the help of Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectroscopy. Crude extracts from the plants will than be assessed for their antioxidant capacity using FRAP and ORAC assays.
Additionally, the levels of selected minerals (especially Zn, Mg and Ca) and vitamins such as niacin, B12, Vit A, folate, Vit C and Vit E will be determined.

The proposed project will generate a valuable information about the levels of health-enhancing phytochemicals in Australian native plant sources. This information could then be used as a tool to promote and market products developed from the native plants. If disseminated, this information would subsequently change public perception towards consumption of native fruits and herbs and products incorporating them. Finally, this information should strengthen the position of the Australian Native Food Industry in the domestic and international market.

Generated information will be communicated in the form of report/s, presentation/s and publications in international peer-reviewed journals.


New and Emerging Plant Industries

Research Organisation


Objective Summary

To provide the native food industry with reliable information on the levels of health beneficial constituents (bioactives) in selected native fruits and anioxidant capacity of selected fruits and herbs.