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Food Scientists Showcase Kiwifruit as Superfood

Media Release February 8, 2006

International Food Scientists Showcase Kiwifruit as Superfood

Leading European, American and Asian food scientists are to present their latest research to support kiwifruit’s position as a top 20 superfood at an international symposium at the end of February in Rotorua.

Among the 225 delegates from 20 countries attending the International Society for Horticultural Science Kiwifruit Symposium will be world leading nutrition scientist Professor Andrew Collins, who is involved in groundbreaking research to show kiwifruit’s health promoting role in preventing cancer and in repairing damaged DNA. His colleague, Professor Asim Dutta-Roy, will present his findings on how eating two or three kiwifruit is better than taking an aspirin a day in reducing the risk of blood clots, heart attacks and strokes. A follow up nutrition and health benefits seminar will see Professor Paul LaChance, a leading American food scientist, join the line-up of experts. He has recently contributed to the redrafting of the official American healthy eating guide food pyramid which now encourages far greater consumption of whole foods and fresh fruit and vegetables.

“Kiwifruit is a proven nutritional powerhouse and the meetings will provide a platform to further understand and set the research priorities to explore how consuming this 21st superfood can benefit health in areas including protection against cancer; high blood pressure, stroke and cardiac diseases, macular degeneration, metabolic syndrome and obesity,” said Symposium convenor, Bob Martin of ZESPRI International.

Nutritional and health benefits form only one part of the four-day symposium starting on February 21. All up 150 scientific, research and technical papers will be presented by world experts on topics as diverse as meeting consumer eating preferences to breeding new cultivars and sustainability.

“We will be sharing new research to provide new insights into quality, best practice production and cultivation to benefit the kiwifruit category worldwide which currently only accounts for a little over one percent of world fruit consumption,” Mr Martin said.

New Zealand is the only country to host this important meeting, held every four years, more than once with delegates coming from Italy, the world’s largest producer of kiwifruit, China, the wakening dragon and original home of kiwifruit as well as Iran, Romania, Brazil and the big kiwifruit consuming markets in Europe, North and South America, Japan and Asia,” Mr Martin said.

“We are overwhelmed by the positive response and calibre of delegates,” he said. “The attendance is a testimony to the pulling power of New Zealand as the world’s leading marketer of kiwifruit and to the stature of our researchers and scientists,” he said.

The two major sponsors of the symposium are ZESPRI, and its research provider, HortResearch, responsible for the development of the yellow-fleshed Hort16A cultivar which as ZESPRI™ GOLD Kiwifruit has taken the world by storm.

Details of the symposium programme and abstracts of the research papers can be found at: www.kiwi2006.co.nz

ENDS

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