“Vital Veggies” enter Australian marketplace

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 20th August 2009

Victorian Agriculture Minister, Joe Helper, has reported the launch of ‘Booster Broccoli’ – the first product in a new range of vegetables that reportedly contain the highest concentration of beneficial nutrients for humans.

“The vegetables, branded as Vital Vegetables, have enhanced antioxidant composition, which means the nutrients are more easily absorbed by humans,” Mr Helper said. “This is great news as the vegetables can work more effectively in preventing illness and disease because they strengthen the body’s natural defence systems.”

“Increased vegetable antioxidant levels also ensure that the vegetables are good to eat and will stay fresh longer.”

Victorian Department of Primary Industries scientists worked collaboratively with Plant & Food Research New Zealand over six years with significant investments from Australian and New Zealand Vegetable industry groups.

AUSVEG, the leading vegetable industry body, considers the Vital Vegetables project as one of the most exciting initiatives undertaken within the Australian vegetable industry.

“The Victorian Government has led the way on investment and innovation in the Australian vegetable industry and Australian growers will have an edge over their global competitors as a result,”  Chief Executive Officer, Richard Mulcahy, suggested. “Australia already produces the world’s best produce and the Vital Vegetables project will result in even fresher and better tasting vegetables for consumers.”

DPI scientist, Dr Rod Jones, said hundreds of years of natural breeding and selection have resulted in a huge genetic variation in all vegetables varieties across the world, providing opportunities for healthier vegetables.

“The Vital Vegetables science team explored this vast array of genetic diversity to discover the vegetables that contain the highest concentration of beneficial nutrients for humans,” he advised. “Using natural breeding techniques, we then began the process of developing a variety which contained the optimum level of nutrient for human health.”

“What sets ‘Booster Broccoli apart from other broccoli varieties is that it has been naturally bred to specifically focus on maximising the health attributes within the vegetable, based on the strongest science from the planting of the seed to the cooked broccoli on the dinner plate.”

Dr Jones said there were plans in place to produce other products under the brand ‘Vital Vegetables’ including tomatoes, capsicums, lettuce and cauliflower.