Growing Futures

Validating the health benefits of kiwifruit

Validating the health benefits of kiwifruit

Supporting the marketing of Zespri Green Kiwifruit with science-validated health claims

Global consumers have an increasing interest in foods that provide benefits beyond basic nutrition, with health benefits being one of the top drivers in consumer purchasing behaviour, along with taste and quality. Fruits and vegetables have intrinsic properties that are beneficial for health, being both natural and offering additional functionality. Digestive health support is the highest ranked health benefit desired by consumers in New Zealand’s key export markets.

In April 2014, Zespri lodged the first health claim for a whole fruit worldwide. This claim – that Zespri® Green Kiwifruit can contribute to normal bowel function – supports messaging that Zespri uses in marketing its kiwifruit to global consumers. The claim was based on a confidential dossier of scientific information, to which Plant & Food Research scientists contributed, including reviews of international literature and results of clinical trials, that demonstrates and validates the link between consumption of Zespri® Green Kiwifruit and improved digestive health.

Whilst the claim has currently only been filed with Food Standards Australia New Zealand, the dossier has collated the sum of the evidence available for digestive health, and has identified areas where more evidence is needed to file similar claims in other jurisdictions, such as the EU and Asia, where Zespri exports New Zealand kiwifruit. The claim also supports Zespri’s marketing approach in global markets, with New Zealand perceived as having high standards around food production and safety with many overseas consumers.

The development of a health claim dossier was funded by Zespri International Ltd. Clinical research was funded by Zespri International Ltd, Plant & Food Research and other research organisations.

Created: September 2015

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