Food Safety, Health & Nutrition

Final reports of the following research and development projects can be found at You will need to log in or create a free account before searching for each project using the 'VG' code or project title. Other resources such as fact sheets and handbooks will be uploaded to this website and can be found by clicking the links under each project title.

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Fostering and enhancing food safety in the vegetable industry (vg13020)

This project sought to quantify the extent of food safety certification in the Australian vegetable industry as a primary measure of food safety commitment. It discusses food safety hazards and opportunities for effective food safety management to maintain the industry’s good food-safety record. Data and recommendations from the project are available in the final report. 

Contact: Doris Blaesing, RM Consulting Group

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identifying and understanding the factors influencing bioactive levels in vegetables (vg14027)

This project collated information on the phytonutrients (bioactives) in levied vegetables. This project has developed a useful resource of information on phytonutrients in vegetables and as a result amendments were made and resources added to as text and downloads. Amendments include new information on postharvest factors that impact on phytonutrient levels, status of health claims of phytonutrients and typical amounts of phytonutrients present. 

Contact: Carolyn Lister, The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research                   Ltd

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developing a nutrient and/or health claim label for packaged babyleaf spinach and rocket (vg08148)

Many factors can affect the levels of bioactives including weather, variety and handling. The main aim of this project was to measure the impact of these factors on the levels of bioactives. It was found that while location, season and storage all affected the levels of vitamin C, vitamin A and folate in rocket and spinach, claims could be made on vitamin C, folate, and beta-carotene. Models were developed to determine the estimated levels of vitamin C and folate in blends of salad mixes. 

Contact: Gordon Rogers, Applied Horticultural Research Pty Ltd

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DEVELOPING 'superyellow' enhanced pigment sweet corn for eye-health (vg07081)

This project developed sweet corn varieties with high levels of zeaxanthin to help improve eye-health. Ten new 'SuperGold' varieties were produced. The high-zeaxanthin corn has increased levels of zeaxanthin by more than seven times, which means people can eat a practical amount of corn each day to manage aged-related macular degeneration.

Contact: Tim O'Hare, The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

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A revolutionary new sensor for in-field measurements of food safety in leafy vegetables (vg13073)

This project is run by Salah Sukkarieh from the University of Sydney field research robotic centre. The focus of the project is on the development of a sensor to detect salmonella on the surface of spinach and also, possibly, in processing factories. 

Contact: Salah Sukkarieh, The University of Sydney