New Zealand researchers have discovered that New Zealand-grown avocados have unique nutritional qualities, with double the amount of vitamin B6 and 20 percent more folate than those grown in other countries.
Demand for avocados is already surging in New Zealand and this nutrient packed superfruit is fast becoming a staple ingredient in the diets of high performance athletes, busy parents and the elderly.
The findings were announced at the New Zealand Avocado 2017-18 season launch held at Eden Park’s Centenary lounge today. The launch drew celebrities and included presentations from head international rugby strength and conditioning coach, ironman and avocado grower Nic Gill, and chef, author and avocado enthusiast Nadia Lim.
New Zealand Avocado Chief Executive Jen Scoular says the new research is huge news for the nation.
“We always knew avocados were good for us. It’s wonderful that we have now confirmed our locally grown fruit is especially healthy.”
New Zealand avocados have a folate measurement of 81.6 ug* per 75g serving, providing 41 percent of the recommended daily intake. They have a vitamin B6 measurement of 0.47mg per 75g serving, providing 30 percent of the recommended daily intake.
Folate contributes to normal growth and development in children, and to good tissue growth in pregnancy. Vitamin B6 contributes to normal immune system function and helps reduce fatigue.
But that’s not all – the superfruit is full of healthy mono-unsaturated fats that help keep appetites under control, is low in sugar and sodium, a good source of dietary fibre, and is packed with a range of essential vitamins and minerals.
These vitamins are particularly beneficial for athletes, mums, busy families and young professionals.
Nic Gill, who is also an associate professor of Sport and Recreation at AUT, addressed the guests on achieving optimal performance. Gill is credited by the likes of Jeff Wilson and Steve Hansen as being the key architect behind the best-conditioned team in the world.
Avocados are “the Ferrari of fruit.”
“Many athletes and high performing individuals eat avocados throughout the day, due to the nutrient dense and quality fuel they provide,” says Gill
Celebrity chef and co-founder of My Food Bag, Nadia Lim, demonstrated healthy ways of using avocados at the launch, and spoke about the need to innovate for a healthier New Zealand.
“Avocados are simply one of the best everyday simple, healthy delicious foods and Kiwis love learning new ways to enjoy them.”
Nadia prepared for guests two salads; roast pumpkin, pear, avocado salad with blue cheese and raspberry balsamic dressing and harissa chicken, pumpkin and avocado salad with mint yoghurt dressing.
Launch guests included Jerome Kaino, Sarah Walker, Art Green and Matilda Rice, Brodie Kane, Laura McGoldrick, Mikki Williden, Zac Franich and Viarni Bright who were served five different avocado dishes to enjoy.
The latest research was conducted by the Phytochemical and Health team at Plant & Food Research throughout the 2015-16 season. New Zealand avocados were analysed in accredited laboratories in New Zealand following the protocols required by the New Zealand Food Composition Database, NZFCD. NZFCD is an independent validated source for the nutritional composition information for the foods consumed by New Zealanders.
ug* is the correct symbol for the metric measurement microgram which is one millionth of a gram or one thousandth of a milligram.
About New Zealand Avocado
The New Zealand avocado industry is vibrant and growing with a vision and strategy in place to quadruple sales to $280m and triple productivity by 2023. The industry is pursuing exciting opportunities in both export and the New Zealand markets, supported by innovation and collaboration with stakeholders and with new partnerships with the Crown and Crown Research Institutes.
New Zealand currently produces just 2% of the global supply but is the ninth largest international avocado exporter. There are over 4,000 hectares of avocado trees planted in New Zealand, primarily in the Bay of Plenty and Northland.
For more information visit www.nzavocado.co.nz
or follow us on social @NZ_Avocado @Jen_Scoular
About Plant & Food Research
Plant & Food Research is a New Zealand-based science company providing research and development that adds value to fruit, vegetable, crop and food products.
Plant & Food Research is a New Zealand government-owned Crown Research Institute, subject to the Crown Entities Act 2004, the Crown Research Institutes Act 1992 and the Companies Act 1993.