Phytochemicals and Healthy Foods

A new wave of research is addressing the newly developing interest in heath-based foods.

Phytochemical-enhanced products such as broccoli, tomato, oranges and berries are currently being evaluated for commercial exploitation.

Over the years, we’ve been told that an apple a day keeps the doctor away and later we heard that drinking green tea was a sure way to ward off illness.

Now researchers contend certain ‘functional foods’ eventually could prevent disease and even change gene expression.

Australian scientists are exploring ways to enhance the phytochemical content of vegetable crops such as cabbage, broccoli and mustard greens through cross-breeding, novel harvesting methods and soil additives.

Until recently plant breeders have been selecting varieties with better yield, appearance and taste that are suited to local climates and with improved pest resistance.

“By 2010 we will have phytochemical-rich horticultural products available,” said Robert Premier, “Initially it will be a curiosity food but it’s likely to become more mainstream,” he said.

Plant foods have the potential to be re-positioned in the market place by value adding to their existing attributes. Intellectual property protection can turn old varieties into new marketing opportunities.

In this 46 page presentation, Robert Premier discusses phytochemical enhanced and standardised horticultural products and the development of “Vital Vegetables”.


Robert Premier

Phytochemical enhanced and standardised horticultural product, a change of emphasis for the plant industry 2005
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