Australia: CSIRO to prepare literature review on pear health
In a release, Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL) highlighted it had approached the country's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to try and understand the current status of relevant science and evidence in pear nutrition studies.
CSIRO, with funding from Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA), is undertaking a scoping review and position statement for the health enhancing and nutritional properties of the fruit.
"Pears are particularly rich in sorbitol, as compared to other fruit, containing around three per cent sorbitol," said CSIRO nutrition and health program research director, Professor Manny Noakes.
"Sorbitol has laxative properties and processed pears are already used in products for gut health because they contain beneficial amounts of sorbitol."
Noakes also cited work that showed some Asian-type pears may be useful in reducing blood alcohol and could be helpful in reducing the effect of hangovers.
CSIRO will deliver to industry a comprehensive literature review on pears and pear components and health measures, a summary of statements that can be used in communication about pears and if applicable, research recommendations.
APAL said it intended to use this information to explore potential product opportunities, harnessing science and nutritional evidence to create value-added positioning for the pear sector.
"What this means for the pear industry at large is that we will be better equipped and informed about the health and nutritional benefits of pears," said APAL market development manager Olivia Taitt.
"And more importantly, we will be able to determine what messages we can go to market with in order to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions based on factual health claims.
"Positive and substantiated health claims have the potential to make consumers think twice about pears and hopefully that positive message translates to more pears in the consumers shopping baskets, both domestically and internationally."