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Ongoing project

Health and nutrition information for the berry industry (MT21000)

Key research provider: Nutrition Research Australia

What is it all about?

This investment is delivering evidence-based information about the health benefits of fresh berries to health professionals in Australia. By improving the awareness, knowledge and attitude of health professionals to the nutrition and health benefits of fresh berries, they will be encouraged to recommend fresh berries to their clients and ultimately help to drive purchase and consumption.

Berries have an impressive nutrient profile score and are one of the highest dietary sources of polyphenols, however their perceived high price point and short shelf life are key consumer barriers to consumption. There is an opportunity to educate health care professionals on the specific berry nutrition science and their culinary uses to help overcome these barriers by showcasing that despite their small size, berries are big on benefits.

The project team will undertake a range of activities, including:

  • Collating current scientific knowledge about fresh berries that will be used to inform the key messages of the educational campaign
  • Developing educational material such as fact sheet, animations, information kits and an e-book to inform health professionals about the benefits of berries, all hosted on the online Berries Hub on the Nutrition Research Australia website
  • Hosting webinars to disseminate key nutritional information about berries, including practical cooking demonstrations
  • Conducting a farm tour at major berry farm with 10 key opinion leaders invited
  • Sponsoring a conference stall aimed at fitness professionals.

During the last six months, the project team have focused on developing collateral and initiating the communication and educational phase of the project.

Key outputs included three infographic brochures:

  • "Berry nutritious" showcasing the nutritional attributes, preparation tips, and growing practices of blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries.
  • "Berry polyphenol" educating about the important dietary bioactive, polyphenols, abundant in berries.
  • "Berry healthy" providing a snapshot of the health effects of berries.

An impactful #BerryWellTribe online event was held, featuring Dr. Flavia Fayet-Moore and Alice Zaslavsky, with key healthcare influencers. The event effectively communicated and amplified nutrition and health messages on berries.

The infographics were transformed into social tiles and bundled with the digital information kit, which was shared with key healthcare influencers on social media. The infographics were also distributed via email to the Berry health care professional database and made available on the Nutrition Research Australia berries hub.

The online event had a 100 per cent attendance rate and updates on project activities were communicated to growers through the Australian Berry Journal.

In this reporting period, the following outputs have been achieved:

  • A comprehensive literature review synthesising health effects of Australian berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries).
  • An audience sentiment research report, providing baseline findings of health care professional knowledge, awareness and confidence in Australian berries’ nutrition, health benefits and growing practices.

Details

This project is a multi-industry strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Blueberry, Raspberry and Blackberry, and Strawberry Funds