Plum pickings: ancient fruit ripe for modern plates

31 May 2020

An Indigenous fruit which is one of the earliest known plant foods eaten in Australia could be the next big thing in the bush foods industry.

UQ’s Associate Professor Yasmina Sultanbawa and Maylla Wunungmurra, Gulkula Mining Company Pty Ltd investigate a green plum tree in East Arnhem Land.The University of Queensland research team is led by bush foods researcher Associate Professor Yasmina Sultanbawa, who said the green plum not only tasted delicious but contained one of the highest known folate levels of any fruit on the commercial market.

“This is really exciting because folate is an important B-group vitamin, and what’s great about the green plum is that the folate is in a natural form so the body absorbs it more easily than in a capsule,” Dr Sultanbawa said.

Folate performs many functions in the body, including helping cells work and tissues grow, and is regarded as essential for the healthy development of the foetus during pregnancy.

Her team is undertaking the world’s first detailed study of the nutritional characteristics of the green plum (Buchanania obovata).

“The green plum is sometimes called ‘wild mango’, and grows abundantly across the far north of Australia,” Dr Sultanbawa said.

“There is recent evidence discovered in West Arnhem Land which shows the green plum was eaten by Aboriginal people as far back as 53,000 years ago.”

Read the full article on UQ News