Green kiwifruit aids digestion

Dr Lovedeep Kaur

Research confirms ZESPRI® GREEN Kiwifruit can assist protein breakdown for better digestion

New research conducted in New Zealand has confirmed what many working in health and nutrition fields have long suspected ZESPRI® GREEN Kiwifruit can break down proteins for better absorption within the digestive process.

The research conducted by the Riddet Institute, confirms that ZESPRI® GREEN Kiwi, when consumed with a protein rich meal, can help improve digestion of several food proteins.

“Consumption of kiwifruit has long been claimed to assist in digestion, however to date there has been little published evidence supporting this assumption,” said Principal Researcher, Dr Lovedeep Kaur.

“Kiwifruit is well known to have a tenderizing effect on meat. This is due to the activity of a naturally occurring enzyme – actinidin, a unique enzyme present only in green kiwifruit. The ability of this enzyme to break down meat protein stimulated our thinking and led us to investigate the role of ZESPRI® GREEN Kiwifruit in assisting digestion.”

The study measured the digestion of nine different types of food proteins (notably from meat, milk, legumes and cereal) and used a model digestive system to mimic digestion in the stomach and small intestines.

It was found that ZESPRI® GREEN Kiwifruit extract (containing actinidin) enhanced the digestion of a variety of food proteins more completely and more rapidly than digestive enzymes alone.

“These exciting findings form part of ZESPRI’s Health Research Programme, which aims to investigate and validate the health benefits of ZESPRI® GREEN and GOLD Kiwifruit to consumers globally,” said Jodi Tong, Category Manager GOLD who looks after ZESPRI’s Health Marketing. “The enzyme Actinidin is unique to kiwifruit and so these findings enable us an opportunity to differentiate kiwifruit within the fruit bowl, as well as highlight the digestive health benefits of kiwifruit.”

ZESPRI® is 2-3 years into their 10-year health science roadmap with research being undertaken in a number of areas to validate the health benefits of kiwifruit. “Our ongoing commitment to investment in kiwifruit research demonstrates the belief we have in our products, and these results enable us to increase global consumer awareness and further demonstrate how kiwifruit can strengthen natural defences for everyday protection,” said Jodi.

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