Foodstuffs from the tropical rainforests of southern Australia have been created by a team of researchers from the University of Queensland.
The team has created a unique foodstuff inspired by the flora of the Amazon rainforest.
Qinqinni, or “snowy” foodstamp, is a fruit that contains an unusual amount of sugar.
It is commonly used in traditional medicine and is commonly eaten in South America, where it is known as a sugar substitute.
It is believed that Qinqinnis unique properties make it ideal for the creation of medicinal and nutritional products that contain more sugar than normal.
In recent years, many countries have been trying to develop artificial sweeteners and other nutritional products, including artificial sweetener-laced drinks.
The fruit, which has been made by the University, has been designed to be more nutritious and less expensive to produce than sugar cane, a staple in the South American Amazon.
It has been used for medicinal purposes, including in Chinese medicine, and it has been grown on plantations in Chile.
Professor John Griffiths, who designed the foodstamps creation, said Qinqin was created in partnership with Queensland Agriculture, Food and Forestry Research (QAFFR), Queensland Research Council (QRC), Queensland Science and Technology Facilities Organisation (QSTFO), the Queensland Agricultural Research Institute (QARCI), and the Australian Food and Agricultural Research (AFARI) department.
“The unique properties of the Qinqini fruit mean that we have been able to take this fruit from the Amazon and create a very simple and accessible product that can be used in a range of products,” Professor Griffiths said.
Dr Chris Beale, a scientist at QAFFR who helped design the Qinpins unique properties, said it was not only a fun project, but a way of looking at how the rainforest works.
He said Qinpines unique properties meant it was a natural candidate for using in agricultural production.
“In this case it is being used as a source of sugar cane which is quite common in South Australia, which is where it has traditionally been grown,” he said.
“It’s a natural sugar substitute and therefore there’s not that much of a need for other sugars in the product, which gives it the versatility to be used by other types of products.”
Dr Beale said the fruit could be used to create more complex sugar substitutes such as artificial sweetened drinks.
“There’s been a lot of research in this area and it is a very exciting area for us to be a part of,” he added.
A team from QAF FR, QRC, QSTFO, and QARCI have also created an entirely new fruit from a different Amazon rain forest.
Professor Griffiths and his team are currently working with local community members in the south-west of South Australia to produce a limited edition batch of Qinpinnis.
As the Queensland government struggles to make money for the Queensland Rural Health Department, Dr Beale is also working on Qinpincs potential as a tool to increase rural health outcomes in the state.
“The government is working with the community to make sure we can continue to be an effective and sustainable health and community care provider in South Australian,” he explained.
“We’re going to be looking to bring more people into the community and to get people to use this foodstump to eat more locally.”