Skip to main content
Ongoing project

The nutritional advantage of fresh produce: a focus on bioactive nutrients and their role in consumer demand (HN22003)

Key research provider: Macquarie University

What is it all about?

This program is increasing the knowledge and awareness of bioactive compounds derived from plant-based foods across Australia with a major focus on promoting their health and well-being benefits.

The overarching objective is to ensure improved health, productivity, and market access to plant-based products (particularly from fruits, vegetables, nuts, and mushrooms) by Australians and international consumers, catalysed by a better understanding of evidence-based benefits of bioactives, especially among younger adults and children.

The program will develop and implement a comprehensive communication strategy supported by an analytical understanding of the availability and nutritional benefits of different bioactives.

The research team will develop ‘Bioactive Master Files’ that will include key information about which bioactives are present in which plant-based foods and include a Relative Dietary Intake where appropriate or Nutrient Reference Values for each bioactive.

While essential nutrients in plant-based products have clear definitions with well-established recommended intake levels, complex bioactives present in lower concentrations often lack such definitions and may decrease in effectiveness if consumed after cooking. Generally, society has a poor understanding of the health benefits of plant-based bioactives or their role in the prevention of chronic disease.