Principal investigator: Dr Ali Rashidinejad, The Riddet Institute, Massey University
Industry partner: Cherri Health & Manufacturing Limited
High-Value Nutrition funding: $55,000
Potential Health Claims: Establishing the baseline for NZ cherries
Cherri Health and Manufacturing (CH&M) and the Riddet Institute are working together to explore the bioactive and nutrient properties of six popular Otago-grown cherry varieties and their possible related health claims.
CH&M will use their findings to identify commercial opportunities and further research and development work towards developing and marketing a functional health product, adding value to the waste generated by cherries.
It’s widely reported that cherries provide significant health benefits such as:
- Decreasing markers for oxidative stress
- Reducing inflammation
- Improving exercise-induced muscle soreness and loss of strength
- Regulating blood pressure
- Lessening arthritic symptoms
- Improving sleep
Evidence suggests that other fruits grown in New-Zealand tend to have enhanced bioactive benefits over and above those grown overseas.
This project will support the value equation for Cherri Health and Manufacturing (CH&M), its parent company Cherri Global Limited (CGL), joint venture partner Hineuru Iwi Trust, the summerfruit category, and Aotearoa New Zealand as a whole.
Creating value from waste
The production of CGL’s (and other Otago cherry growers’) new plantings will increase exponentially over the next five years. This means there will also be a significant increase in the volume of subsequent waste. Turning this waste into a health-enhancing product will help the taiao/environment, create new jobs, and offer extra hauora/health benefits to consumers.
Supporting world-leading science
The Riddet Institute is the lead scientific research partner in this project. The Institute has a wide network of expertise and a nationally and internationally established reputation for excellence in scientific research and innovation.
This project will use science excellence and knowledge to garner scientific information about the health benefits of New Zealand cherries. Together with regulatory knowledge the findings will be used in the manufacture of high-value cherry-based products to assist in promoting the health of New Zealanders and consumers around the world.
Dr Ali Rashidinejad
Dr. Rashidinejad is a research scientist/officer at the Riddet Institute, a National Centre of Research Excellence in food science and nutrition.
Ali’s current main research focuses on the oral delivery of bioactive compounds (in particular, polyphenols) via functional foods. While this generally lies in the development of methods/technologies that protect/encapsulate bioactives, Ali is specifically interested in the behaviour of bioactive compounds in the food matrix and gastrointestinal tract, with a focus on polyphenol-enriched functional food products.
Mark is General Manager of Cherri Global and its subsidiary group of companies. He is responsible for the day to day management and operations.
With 40+ years of experience in the horticultural industry, Mark is highly respected within the primary sector. He has extensive experience in general management and project management as well as a strong logistics background. He is also involved with high-value nutrition foods such as manuka honey.
Mark will oversee this project for Cherri Health and Manufacturing.