NZ researchers to test kiwifruit effects on blood glucose levels -

NZ researchers to test kiwifruit effects on blood glucose levels

Countries More News Top Stories
NZ researchers to test kiwifruit effects on blood glucose levels

Plant & Food Research (P&F) has been awarded NZ$1 million (US$664,480) in funding to investigate whether kiwifruit consumption could alleviate a rising health problem in Asian countries. Zespri kiwifruit - Matt - sq

The three-year grant from the Ministry of Business & Innovation's High Value Nutrition (HVN) contestable fund will be for collaboration with marketer Zespri to test whether the fruit can influence blood glucose levels.

Plant & Food Research senior scientist Dr. John Monro said more than 400 million people in Asia were projected to suffer from glucose intolerance by 2030.

"And as this increases there is likely to be a growing demand for foods that produce a smaller effect on blood glucose concentrations, as well as those that help reduce the glycaemic impact of other carbohydrate foods," Monro said.

While some diets actively encourage lower fruit consumption because of fructose sugar, P&F highlights fruit sugars are less glycaemic than starch-based sugars and provide components that physically reduce the rate of sugar absorption.

What the researchers at P&F aim to do is see whether New Zealand kiwifruit afford protection against glycaemia by reducing glycaemic response, through maintaining healthy energy metabolism and by retarding the systemic long-term effects of the condition.

The research also hopes to build a platform for later business-led research on combining and optimizing functional attributes through new cultivars, formulations and food processing techniques.

HVN is one of the government's 11 National Science Challenges with plans to invest NZ$84 million over the next 10 years to establish New Zealand as an international leader in developing validated foods for health and to help grow foods exports by NZ$1 billion/year by 2025.

Subscribe to our newsletter