New ‘super strawberry’ discovered
SCIENTISTS have discovered an ‘alpha strawberry’ that is very sweet in flavour and has folate levels that may be up to three times higher than standard strawberries.
Folate is an important B-group vitamin which is critical for a range of biological functions in adults and children, including the production of DNA and other genetic material.
It is also essential for the healthy development of the foetus in early pregnancy and can help to prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
The strawberry research is funded as part of a $10m Hort Innovation program aimed at developing naturally nutrient-dense food, and delivered and co-funded by the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI), University of Queensland which is supported by the State Government.
Hort Innovation chief executive John Lloyd said while the strawberry is yet to undergo taste testing through consumer panels to see if it is as good as conventional breeds, the finding was exciting.
“This is essentially an ‘alpha strawberry’,” Mr Lloyd said.
“It contains way more folate than we would expect to see in a standard strawberry.”