Foods Standard Australia New Zealand has added 14 new Indigenous foods to the Nutrition Panel Calculator (NPC). The NPC, which now has data for 2533 foods, is used by industry to provide nutrition information on food labels.
The addition of these new foods will allow food manufacturers to calculate the average nutrient content of their bush food products and prepare a Nutrition Information Panel (NIP) based on up-to-date nutrient data.
FSANZ was able to provide the new data thanks to a joint research project between the Rural Industry Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) and the Australian Native Food Industry (ANFIL).
The new foods added are:
- Lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora), leaf, dried, ground (also known as Lemon ironwood and Lemon scented myrtle).
- Bush tomato (Solanum centrale), fruit, dried (also known as Desert raisin and Akudjera).
- Kakadu plum (Terminalia ferdinandiana), fruit (also known as Gubinje, Billy Goat Plum and Wild Plum).
- Finger lime (Citrus australasica), fruit.
- Desert lime (Citrus glauca), fruit.
- Anise myrtle (Syzygium anisatum), leaf, dried, ground (also known as Ringwood and Aniseed Myrtle).
- Native pepper (Tasmannia lanceolata), berry, dried (also known as Tasmanian pepperberry and Mountain pepperberry).
- Native pepper (Tasmannia lanceolata), leaf, dried, ground (also known as Tasmanian pepperleaf).
- Lemon aspen (Acronychia acidula or Acronychia subarosa), fruit juice.
- Satinash (Syzygium fibrosum), fruit (also known as Small leaf lilli pilli).
- Saltbush (Atriplex nummularia), leaf, fresh.
- River mint (Mentha australis), leaf, fresh (also known as Native mint).
- Sea Parsley (Apium prostatum), leaf, fresh.
- Olida (Eucalyptus olida), leaf, dried, ground (also known as Strawberry gum and Forest Berry Herb).
The NPC database 2011 files have also been updated to include nutrient data for these bush foods, which will also allow users to import the food and nutrient information directly into their own software, rather than use the calculator.
New data? This has been available since the 1980s and the Tables of Composition of Australian Aboriginal Foods by Jennie Brand Miller et al from data mostly compiled by my research over 6 years together with some from Scottsdale (Tas) and WAIT in Perth. We present over 450 different foods in the compendium.
Strange also that half of the ingredients included in this recent list for nutrient information panels are herbs and spices. These are generally used at less than 2% and the accuracy of nutritional information is to 1 decimal place. Their contribution to protein, carbohydrates and fats, minerals and water is therefore insignificant whereas their real value is in their antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and other functionals. However, none of these are ever listed in nutritional Information panels as there are few RDAs for the important antioxidants, only those that are available as synthetic chemicals (the common A to E vitamins).
At least the foods most often used in manufactured products including Illawarra plums, Davidson plums, Rainforest limes, wild rosella, Wattleseed and riberry were analysed in the 1980 report. It’s just that FSANZ never consulted industry to discover what is really important here.
ANFIL really needs some scientific direction, FSANZ should do their research better and RIRDC needs to stop wasting public money.