SME Solutions Centre – Maximising antioxidants in Queen Garnet plums during processing and bottling
The Queen Garnet is a unique variety of plum that is high in anthocyanins, a group of antioxidants. Developed in Queensland, Nutrafruit sells these plums and their value-added products at a premium due to the Queen Garnet’s higher antioxidant content compared to other plum varieties. Currently, >300,000 Queen Garnet plum trees have been planted across Australia.
In 2020 20% of the fruit was composite, lower-grade fruit sent for processing, however, some still end up in landfill. Nutrafruit’s business plan is to expand its reach by spreading awareness of the benefits of the QG plum and grow the product market so this surplus fruit can be used. This can be achieved if the value-added products retain the key anthocyanin that gives the plum its renowned benefits.
Our SME plan
Nutrafruit are working with researchers at the University of Southern Queensland to understand more about the health benefits of the QG plum, and how to maximise the anthocyanin concentrations in the fruit and associated value-added products. By developing an in-house capability to measure the anthocyanin levels in the QG plum, Nutrafruit will be able to investigate cost-effective strategies to retain or fortify anthocyanin and anthocyanidin content in nectar products during processing and shelf-life.
This is a multidisciplinary project drawing on expertise in food science, engineering (chemical, mechanical and electrical), pharmacology, physiology, chemistry, drone and sensor technology, and business/marketing. University of Southern Queensland researchers will work collaboratively with Nutrafruit to find out more about the QG plum supply chain and how to maximise the entirety of the crop. This will also include University of Southern Queensland researchers training Nutrafruit process and technical staff, as well as the product development team in how to track nutrient content of the QG plum through the supply chain. The ability to promote the health benefits of the QG plum will allow the product to fetch a premium price at market.
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As this project progresses, we’ll share the good news on this page by adding information, links, images, interviews and more.