A new discovery at the University of Queensland could help reduce heart disease and boost nutrition security – the access to balanced nourishment – globally.
Researchers in UQ’s Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences have identified a new mechanism for how healthy cereals such as oats reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood stream, thereby lowering the risk of heart disease.
The discovery could lead to ways of boosting the cholesterol-fighting properties of other cereals including wheat.
UQ’s Professor Mike Gidley said the study, funded through the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls, revealed new information on the function of beta glucans – a healthy soluble fibre naturally occurring in the cell walls of some plants, particularly cereals.
“According to our consumer taste tests, the perfect papaya is red, small or hand-sized, fewer seeds, a velvety texture, and sweet caramelised rockmelon and banana flavours,” said Dr Heather Smyth from the Queensland Alliance of Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI), a partnership between The University of Queensland (UQ) and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF).
Despite being rich in anti-cancer components and often described as a ‘superfood’, papayas are off the menu for many consumers, due to perceptions of the fruit’s pungent taste or aroma.
“Papayas are super healthy – full of carotenoids and anti-cancer compounds such as isothiocyanates, in the flesh and seeds – but there are perceptions of them being expensive and having a bad flavour,” Dr Smyth said.
I attended a talk yesterday organised by QUT Science and Engineering featuring Nobel Laureate cosmologist Brian Schmidt talking about the big bang or “gnab gib” (big bang spelled backwards), i.e. expansion and end of the universe.
What a great communicator Brian Schmidt is! He gave really good advice for early career scientists. He reckons research is the best job and everything else is slightly less interesting. Professor Schmidt was born in the US, is based at ANU. I think he says in his talk that he was only 27 when he took on the role of managing the international project that led to the Nobel Prize (yes, I hate him too).
Thanks QUT and Gates Cambridge for an excellent seminar.