Allergy-free ginger products on the horizon

Posted by Isobel Drake on 7th November 2008

Buderim Ginger has been awarded $245,100 to create an allergy-free ginger product, Queensland’s Industry Minister, Desley Boyle, announced this week.The funding, from the State Government’s Business and Industry Transformation Incentives (BITI) scheme, will go towards the development of a new processing system that eliminates the need to use sulphites as a preservative.

Minister Boyle said that Yandina-based Buderim Ginger was one of the world’s leading manufacturers of confectionery ginger and exported its products to the USA, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Europe and Asia.

“Sulphites are a recognised allergen, particularly for people with respiratory disorders and the trend in food processing these days is to remove them,” Ms Boyle noted. “To maintain its competitive edge, and to safeguard its export market, Buderim Ginger is investigating a processing system that uses chlorine dioxide rather than sulphites.”

Mr Steve Dennis, Process and Engineering Manager at Buderim Ginger said the BITI funding would cover research into the performance of chlorine dioxide, the development of an automation system and the undertaking of trials.

“This funding will help us transform our operations and enhance the products we deliver to our customers which is the most important aspect of our business,” Mr Dennis said. “By having an allergen-free product, with no sulphites, we will be able to deliver even healthier ginger products into new markets in Australia and overseas.”

Minister Boyle added that the project had potential application to other food processing sectors and was a great example of a Queensland company showing leadership.

“The BITI scheme supports projects that promote the transformation of priority industries and drive Queensland towards an internationally competitive, sustainable and knowledge-intensive future,” Ms Boyle said. “It focuses on the big picture and the impact of a project on an industry and region as a whole.”

“Small to medium enterprises operating in Queensland’s priority sectors can apply for between $30,000 and $250,000 for projects that have the potential to significantly expand their business, their industry and their region.”

The next round of BITI closes on 13 March 2009.