Lemon and anise myrtle-functional ingredients in cross industry applications

The University of Queensland

  • Project code: PRJ-009594

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Sunday, June 1, 2014

  • Project completion date: Monday, May 30, 2016

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


The future prosperity of the Australian native food industry in both domestic and export markets depends on their ability to develop high value ingredients targeting the food, beverage and nutraceutical industries. Such innovative products will offset the relatively high costs of manufacturing in Australia.
Lemon myrtle production by Australian Rainforest Products Pty Ltd is between 80-100 tonnes per year, anise myrtle production is less between 5-10 tonnes per year. The lemon myrtle industry in particular is at a stage that necessitates the development of innovative food and nutraceutical applications to be competitive in international markets. Studies on lemon myrtle and anise myrtle have revealed potent antimicrobial and antioxidant activities thus providing natural alternatives for application in the food industry. However, further examination is necessary before their full potential as functional bioactive ingredients are to be realised especially for cross industry applications.

Australian Rainforest Products Pty Ltd which is one of the largest producer of lemon and anise myrtle is constantly searching for ways to develop new markets by investigating and isolating novel high value ingredients from native plants. The aim of this project is to develop functional bioactive ingredients that can be used in a range of food, beverage and nutraceutical industry applications. This project would be a good example of a cross industry application of native Australian plant food that enables economic benefits to flow back to the native food industry and importantly the indigenous communities.


New and Emerging Plant Industries

Research Organisation

The University of Queensland

Objective Summary

The overall objective of this project is to develop functional bioactive ingredients from lemon and anise myrtle targeting the food & beverage, nutraceutical and cosmetic industries.

Specific Objectives

-Determination of phytochemical composition to assess potential ingredient applications for targeted industries.
-Development of functional ingredients with antimicrobial and antioxidant activities and other related health-promoting properties assisted by a better, more complete understanding of the phytochemical compositions.
-Development of synergistic combinations of lemon and anise myrtle with other native foods such as Kakadu plum and Tasmanian pepper/ Australian native peppers to develop applications in the food industry for example potent activity against food spoilage organisms in the meat industry.
-Innovative delivery systems that maximises the delivery of the most potent antimicrobial and antioxidant combinations with minimal flavour impact on the food system.