New deal with producer of Chinese dates to improve gut health

Flinders has entered a partnership with Shanxi Tianzhirun Jujube Co, a Chinese producer of dates (jujubes), to develop a range of functional health beverages.

Shanxi Tianzhirun Jujube Co is a well-known, high-tech agribusiness that cultivates and processes dried jujubes, jujube-soy milk and a range associated jujube products.

The company will now be working with Flinders’ Centre for Marine Bioproducts Development to create a series of health drinks that promote good gut bacteria.

“Functional foods contain ingredients that add more than just nutrition,” says Professor Wei Zhang, Director of the Centre for Marine Bioproducts Development.

“These drinks will be developed to boost the good bacteria in your gut, with the outcome of providing better overall health.”

The initial three-year deal will involve lab work as well as extensive market research into the commercialisation of personalised health products.

It will also provide jobs for two post-doctoral fellows and funding for several postgraduate scholarships for PhD and Masters students at Flinders.

“South Australia boasts enormous untapped marine biodiversity that has the potential to provide ingredients for functional foods, and the Centre for Marine Bioproducts Development at Flinders is vigorously promoting the marine biotechnology industry in South Australia,” says Professor Zhang.

The agreement with Shanxi Tianzhirun Jujube Co was recently formalised in a large, orchestrated signing ceremony in Taiyuan, Shanxi, China.


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