Australian Native Plants : Cultivation and Uses in the Health and Food Industries book cover
1st Edition

Australian Native Plants
Cultivation and Uses in the Health and Food Industries

ISBN 9781032097886
Published June 30, 2021 by CRC Press
408 Pages 68 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Australian Native Plants: Cultivation and Uses in the Health and Food Industries provides a comprehensive overview of native food crops commercially grown in Australia that possess nutritional and health properties largely unknown on a global basis. These native foods have been consumed traditionally, have a unique flavor diversity, offer significant health promoting effects, and contain useful functional properties. Australian native plant foods have also been identified for their promising antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that have considerable commercial potential.

This book is divided into three parts: The first part reviews the cultivation and production of many Australian native plants (ANP), including Anise Myrtle, Bush Tomato, Desert Raisin, Davidson’s Plum, Desert Limes, Australian Finger Lime, Kakadu Plum, Lemon Aspen, Lemon Myrtle, Muntries, Native Pepper, Quandong, Riberry, and Wattle Seed. It then examines the food and health applications of ANP and discusses alternative medicines based on aboriginal traditional knowledge and culture, nutritional characteristics, and bioactive compounds in ANP. In addition, it reviews the anti-obesity and anti-inflammatory properties of ANP and discusses food preservation, antimicrobial activity of ANP, and unique flavors from Australian native plants.

The third section covers the commercial applications of ANP. It focuses on native Australian plant extracts and cosmetic applications, processing of native plant foods and ingredients, quality changes during packaging, and storage of Australian native herbs. The final few chapters look into the importance of value chains that connect producers and consumers of native plant foods, new market opportunities for Australian indigenous food plants, and the safety of using native foods as ingredients in the health and food sectors.

Table of Contents

Overview of Australian Native Plants
Amanda Garner and La Vergne Lehmann


Cultivation of Anise Myrtle (Syzygium anisatum)

Gary Mazzorana and Melissa Mazzorana

Cultivation of Bush Tomato (Solanum centrale): Desert Raisin

L. Slade Lee

Cultivation of Davidson’s Plum (Davidsonia spp.)

Tony Page and Margo Watkins

The Reproductive Systems of Davidson’s Plum (Davidsonia jerseyana, D. pruriens, and D. johnsonii) and the Potential for Domestication

Frances Eliott, Mervyn Shepherd, Maurizio Rossetto, and Robert Henry

Cultivation of Desert Limes (Citrus glauca)

Jock Douglas

Cultivation of Australian Finger Lime (Citrus australasica)

Sheryl Rennie

Production of Terminalia ferdinandiana Excell (‘Kakadu Plum’) in Northern Australia

Julian Gorman, Kim Courtenay, and Chris Brady

Cultivation of Lemon Aspen (Acronychia acidula)

Rus Glover

Cultivation of Lemon Myrtle (Backhousia citriodora)

Gary Mazzorana and Melissa Mazzorana

Cultivation of Muntries (Kunzea pomifera F. Muell.)

Fazal Sultanbawa

Cultivation of Native Pepper (Tasmannia lanceolata)

Christopher D. Read

Cultivation of Quandong (Santalum acuminatum)

Ben Lethbridge

Cultivation of Riberry (Syzygium luehmannii)

Rus Glover

Production of Wattle Seed (Acacia victoriae)

Lyle Dudley


Alternative Medicines Based on Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge and Culture

Donna Savigni

Nutritional Characteristics and Bioactive Compounds in Australian Native Plants: A Review

David J. Williams and Mridusmita Chaliha

Australian Native Plants: Anti-Obesity and Anti-Inflammatory Properties

David J. Williams, Mridusmita Chaliha, and Yasmina Sultanbawa

Food Preservation and the Antimicrobial Activity of Australian Native Plants

Yasmina Sultanbawa

Unique Flavors from Australian Native Plants

Heather Smyth and Yasmina Sultanbawa


Native Australian Plant Extracts: Cosmetic Applications

Hazel MacTavish-West

Processing of Native Plant Foods and Ingredients

Yasmina Sultanbawa

Quality Changes during Packaging and Storage of Australian Native Herbs

Mridusmita Chaliha

Value Chains: Making the Connections between Producers and Consumers of Native Plant Foods

Anoma Ariyawardana, Ray Collins, and Lilly Lim-Camacho

New Market Opportunities for Australian Indigenous Food Plants

Vic Cherikoff

Appendix: Australian Native Food Recipes

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Yasmina Sultanbawa earned a graduateship in chemistry from the Institute of Chemistry, Ceylon, in Sri Lanka, an MSc in food science from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, and a PhD in food chemistry from the University of British Columbia, Canada. After 15 years employment at the Industrial Technology Institute in Sri Lanka, she has worked for eight years as a senior food scientist at the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland, the past five of which she has been a senior research fellow at the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, University of Queensland, Australia.

Fazal Sultanbawa earned a BSc and an MPhil in agriculture and crop science from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, and a PhD from the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, focusing on biotechnology and the mass propagation of plants using tissue and protoplast culture. For the past five years, he has been technical manager at Agrichem Pty Ltd., Brisbane, Australia, a leading international plant nutrition company, where he is responsible for developing their crop nutrition programs, R&D programs, and the conduct of field trials. He also has held senior management positions in several national and international companies.


This is a useful book not only for the plants it covers in detail, but also for its illustration of cultivation considerations that is transferrable to other plants in other regions. It also captures the zeitgeist under which Australian native plants are now operating. Throughout the book, references are made to working in partnerships with Aboriginal stakeholders... it seems much more likely that under this relatively new approach the diversity of applications of Australian natural plants will flourish.

-- Susanne Masters, Bournemouth UK