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Apple bioactives

29 Mar, 2012

Compounds in apples that may help ease the symptoms of inflammatory diseases are being investigated by researchers at the University of Otago. The team is part of Nutrigenomics New Zealand.

Listen to audio: Apple bioactives

Duration: 8:27

What is nutrigenomics?

Nutrigenomics is an expanding field of research that recognises that groups of individuals differ in their response to certain foods and food components. It aims to identify and characterise exactly which properties of different foods are associated with health and disease resistance in these different groups of people.

A key focus of the research is on gut health, in particular, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), which is an increasingly common health problem. It also looks at how a person’s genetic make-up may contribute to their chances of suffering from this disease.

Compounds in apples may help IBS sufferers

University of Otago researchers are investigating a range of foods, including apples. They have identified particular compounds in apples that may ease symptoms of IBS. Using in vitro assays, they are evaluating the presence of these compounds in different apple varieties and products. If they can show there are specific varieties of apples that help people, this could benefit the apple industry by adding value to particular products and cultivars.

Nutrigenomics New Zealand

The Otago team of researchers is from Plant & Food Research and forms part of Nutrigenomics New Zealand – a joint project including Plant & Food Research, AgResearch and the University of Auckland.

In this programme, Alison Ballance meets with Nigel Perry, Elaine Burgess and summer student Jermy Lei to find out more about their research.

Programme details: Our Changing World

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