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Ongoing project

Educating health professionals on Australian melons (VM20003)

Key research provider: Nutrition Research Australia

What’s it all about?

This investment is delivering evidence-based information about the health benefits of Australian melons to health professionals in Australia.

Melons are unique amongst all fruit because they represent the full spectrum of colour across their varieties which provides the full range of colour-associated nutrients required to achieve optimal health and wellbeing. Categorisation of fruits by colour is a powerful and engaging way to translating nutrition science to individuals across all life stages, and as melons are iconically served sliced as an arch, this project will position Australian melons to health professionals as the ‘double rainbow fruit’.

The project team will utilise gap analysis, nutritional testing, market research and a literature review, to create an engaging educational campaign centred around the rainbow concept. The program will include shareable educational resources, webinars, and expert videos which cite peer-reviewed literature for credibility. The Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition (PEN) hub for nutrition professionals will also be updated with all resources and information created during this project.

To measure the effectiveness of this project over time and to gain valuable market insights, a research survey was designed for healthcare professionals. The survey captures:

  • Knowledge levels of the nutritional properties and health benefits of melons
  • Perception and opinions of melons in the diet
  • Behaviour and frequency around recommending melons to improve fruit variety.

The survey was promoted to healthcare professionals through a four-week targeted social media campaign and sharing via the NRAUS networks. A total of 339 eligible healthcare professionals completed the survey (47 per cent dietitians/nutritionists, 35 per cent GPs/doctors/nurses and 18 per cent other healthcare professionals) exceeding the target of 200 respondents. 258 signed up to the Australian Melons Healthcare Professionals Database.

Some findings of the research were:

  • 61 per cent of respondents were familiar with some nutritional properties of melons but couldn’t specify them, while 1 in 4 respondents were familiar and could specify them.
  • 37 per cent of respondents ‘sometimes’ recommend their clients/patients improve their fruit variety, while 32 per cent recommend improving fruit variety ‘often’.
  • The most popular forms of educational materials desired by HCPs were technical-scientific brochures (55 per cent), followed by short videos (48 per cent), webinars (47 per cent) and simple, infographic brochures (43 per cent).

Results highlighted a number of strategies and learnings that NRAUS have and will continue to implement into upcoming activities.

Related levy funds

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Melon Fund.