New ‘su­per straw­berry’ dis­cov­ered

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - The Mulberry Project -

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.”

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