Conveying health benefits of Australian vegetables (VG12043)
What was it all about?
This investment developed the Veggycation vegetable education resource, for use by schools, health communicators, vegetable businesses and the general public. Veggycation is all about increasing awareness of the approved health qualities of vegetables.
As background to the initiative, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) had recognised the science behind the human health benefits of key vitamins and minerals and pre-approved more than 200 health claims able to be made. This paved the way for education and promotion around vegetables, with many vegetables grown in Australia having 10 per cent of the recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals in one serve.
The project began with a survey of growers, industry and grower associations, wholesalers, retailers, educators, public and community health groups, food writers and chefs. This led to the development of the Veggycation web portal idea.
Evidence-based knowledge on the health benefits of vegetables was then collated and incorporated into a searchable electronic database. The health benefit information was sourced from FSANZ, the European Food Safety Authority, food composition databases and scientific literature. All types of vegetables grown by levy-paying Australian growers were included.
The team simplified the allowable FSANZ claims into nine health benefit areas:
• Healthy Bones & Joints
• Healthy Brain & Nervous System
• Healthy Digestion
• Energy & Metabolism
• Hydrate Your Body
• Healthy Vision
• Healthy Heart
• Healthy Immune System
• Healthy Skin
The team then designed and developed the Veggycation website which allows visitors to access information on the nine health benefits, or by particular vegetables or particular nutrients.
In addition to schools and health communicators, growers and produce marketers can use information on the site to promote vegetables, using on-pack nutrition and health benefit claims that consumers understand.
The site achieved the aims of the project, providing consumer friendly information on the nutritional content of vegetables, with scope for future expansion or update. It has increased Australian consumer awareness of the health benefits that vegetables offer and this is expected to translate to increased consumption of Australian-grown vegetables.
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation
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