Queensland's 'Super Plum' - Case Study
Scientists from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
(DAF) and USQ are currently working alongside local growers to
produce one of the world's functional 'super foods' - the Queen
Garnet Plum (QGP).
DAF Scientist Dr Kent Fanning completed anthocyanin assays
on the QGP and states that the plum has up to five times the
levels of anthocyanins present in normal plums. Subsequently,
USQ Researchers Professor Lindsay Brown and Maharshi
Bhaswant have found the 'super food' to be a highly effective
anti-inflammatory agent that normalises obesity-induced changes
in cardiovascular, liver and metabolic function.
The QGP was developed by DAF at the Applethorpe Research
Station near Stanthorpe, and is now being grown at the Good
Rich Fruit Company (GRFC) orchard near Inglewood. It is tested
by USQ and its rights are owned by the Queensland Government.
The GRFC orchard holds 75,000 of the plum trees and is expected
to yield 200 tonnes of the fruit annually. DAF scientists have made
an ongoing commitment to collaborate with the GRFC in order
to improve crop yield and develop novel QGP-derived products.
The QGP is just one functional food Queensland is developing in
order to help improve the health, wellbeing and obesity-related
problems of people around the world.
GRFC manager Rowan Berecry with the QGP (souce:
Queensland Country Life).
How to start clinical trials in Australia
The flowchart in Figure 13 outlines the process of starting a
clinical trial in Australia for unregistered or unlisted nutraceutical
Figure 13: How to start a nutraceutical trial in Australia
3.4.4 Functional Foods & Beverages
Consumer interest in the relationship between diet and health has
increased substantially, and in turn, functional foods and foods
that promote wellbeing are gaining greater positioning within the
health and medicines market. The functional foods industry has
experienced growth in Australia, with an approximate market value
of more than AU$470 million.
Functional foods are similar to conventional foods, but provide
a demonstrated physiological benefit or reduction in the risk
of chronic disease, above and beyond the traditional function.
These can include omega 3 fatty acids, dietary fibre such as beta-glucan,
phytochemicals, antioxidants, probiotics and various other
biologically active substances. The bioactive ingredients in these
functional foods may be naturally occurring, added to the food or
their activity increased during processing.
Due to Australia's commitment to quality and safety, investment in
innovation, collaboration between industry and government, and
well-established food industry, the country's functional food industry
is well positioned to develop for domestic and export markets.
Similarly, Queensland’s biodiversity, wide range of horticulture
and varied climatic conditions support the development of
functional foods, including rainforest, bush and 'farm cultivated'
products. Many of the State's tropical crops and indigenous
species lend themselves to further exploration. Queensland
universities including the University of Southern Queensland
(USQ), James Cook University (JCU) and Griffith University have
strong research teams exploring the State's unique biodiversity
to isolate compounds and bioactives.
3.4.5 Clinical Trials
The regulatory environment in Australia offers a significant
strategic opportunity for domestic and international companies
to take advantage of a uniquely fast and pragmatic regulatory
pathway for clinical trials. Coupled with the Australian Research
& Development (R&D) Tax Incentive Program - the most
attractive currently available internationally (offering a 43.5 per
cent refundable tax offset for R&D spend in Australia to those
eligible) Australia is highly attractive as an option for those
planning to conduct clinical trials.
According to the World Health Organisation, a “clinical trial is any
research project that prospectively assigns human participants
or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions
to evaluate the effects on health outcomes”.
Source: Life Sciences Queensland Limited (2016) Starting a
Section 3: Life Sciences Queensland Ltd Sub Sectors
Life Sciences Queensland Limited – www.lsq.com.au