While the superfood for the last few years has been the acai berry, a new Australian plum called the Queen Garnet, which was created accidentally, purports to offer the highest levels of antioxidants ever found in a fruit.
Various studies have claimed that the fruit has five to ten times more anthocyanins (antioxidants) than a normal plum, which medically speaking can help protect arteries and prevent cancer.
So how was the new superplum invented accidentally?
It all started during a breeding program for a disease-resistant version of the common plum in Australia, which was carried out on obese rats. As a result of the tests, the new plum was created.
USQ Biomedical Sciences spokesperson, Professor Lindsay Brown, who led the research told reporters, “All the changes that rats experience with obesity – glucose levels, cardiovascular functions, inflammation – all those occur the same way in humans.”
The plums have now found their way to the UK market, and are being stocked by the food chain Marks & Spencer which is the first retailer to sell them.
As Marks & Spencer fruit technologist Andrew Mellonie said, “This is one of the most exciting new fruits to hit the UK in the last decade. It is a win-win fruit. Not only is it delicious but also incredibly healthy. It was created purely by chance and is an amazing discovery that could offer significant health benefits.”
Nevertheless, not everyone in the world agrees with the positive claims about the new superplum, like Professor Manny Noakes, research director for nutrition and health at the Australian science agency CSIRO, who said, “It’s very good research and very interesting research.”
Although she added, “But when I last checked, humans and rodents were very different. You can feed rats an entire diet to test a hypothesis but that doesn’t mean you’ll get the same results in humans. To make a claim that the consumption of a food will make a difference to people’s weight is a pretty long bow to cast.”
For now, the plums are on sale in Britain for around $7 per 400g container.