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--Bio-Grape pastes bring healthy indulgence to cheese connoisseurs--

Tapping into the three industry megatrends: health, convenience and indulgence, the Australian Bio-Grape range will officially launch in the UK in November 2009.

Australian Harvest’s Bio-Grape is a new range of organic pastes (Cabernet Pepperberry, Plum & Grape, Blueberry & Grape, Quince & Pinot, Fig & Grape and Chilli Shiraz), a Red Wine Jus and a Red Wine Chilli Sauce. The premium Bio-Grape pastes have been specially created to complement cheese and wine, and make a convenient and eye-catching centrepiece for cheese boards.

Healthy

Produced in Australia, the entire Bio-Grape range is extremely high in antioxidants (1). The marc (French term for press) of Australian red wine grapes (residual skins and seeds) are typically removed from the wine after crushing. Bio-Grape’s producers, Australian Harvest, discovered that the marc is not only high in antioxidants but also provides a delicious flavour and dark purple colour. Using this ‘wine waste’, Australian Harvest created Bio-Grape, which is a convenient, delicious and indulgent way to incorporate antioxidants in your diet.

More and more products are expected to use the oxygen radical absorption capacity (ORAC) rating in the UK to make it easier for consumers at the point of sale to identify products that are genuinely high in antioxidants (2). Nutritionists recommend that we consume between 3,000 and 5,000 ORAC units each day through a variety of antioxidant-rich sources. Bio-Grape provides a convenient and healthy way to reach our daily recommended target. Just 100g of Cabernet Pepperberry Paste, for example, provides 4,200 ORAC units. (A pepperberry is an Australian spice with a hot and peppery zing.)

Convenient

Bio-Grape pastes are a convenient way of adding extra indulgence at home and in restaurants. Australian Harvest is currently in negotiation with foodservice and retail distributors across the UK following a successful trial launch at the Bristol Organic Food Fair in September 2009. The pastes can be place on a cheeseboard and will keep their unique dome shape when taken straight from the pack, or they can be sliced and served alongside a range of cheeses, crackers and grapes.

Indulgent

The red wine jus and the red wine chilli sauce can be added to a plethora of dishes to add a further depth of flavour, and a deep, rich colour, while increasing the recipe’s antioxidant content. Bio-Grape Red Wine Jus was given an outstanding ORAC rating of 6,127 per 100ml, which is higher than the best food source. It is a delicious salad dressing when mixed with an Australian Harvest Organic Olive Oil or can be used as a health tonic.

The Bio-Grape pastes are growing in popularity in Australia, where they are sold in independent stores and farm shops across the country, alongside locally produced cheeses. Bio-Grape is to Australians what membrillo is to Spaniards: the perfect, regional and complementary addition to cheese and wine.

The entire Bio-Grape is produced by Australian Harvest, based at Coldstream in Victoria's Yarra Valley. The organic and functional food manufacturer is responsible for producing a wide range of gourmet fine foods including jams, sauces, mustards, olives, olive oils, liquored fruits and Panforte. Martin Cheney, MD at Australian Harvest, said: “The value of the powerful antioxidants extracted from wine waste could be far greater than the wine itself”.

Cheney launched antioxidant supplements in Australia in 1984 when he owned Bio-Organics, one of Australia’s largest supplement companies. According to Cheney: “Clinical research from around the world shows that the range of these therapeutic substances extracted from the skin and seed of red wine grapes are much more powerful and effective than vitamin-based antioxidants and have the potential to be worth billions of dollars in worldwide sales. Bio-Grape is a completely original and innovative range of products that is exceptionally high in antioxidants. We are confident that the premium blend of health, indulgence and convenience will appeal to UK consumers as much as it is in Australia”.

Notes to editors:

In honour of the official UK launch, Australian Harvest would like to invite journalists to sample the Bio-Grape pastes. Please contact our UK PR representative, Helen Lewis, at Helen@foodanddrinktowers.co.uk or call +44 (0) 7904801669 with your publication and address details to receive a box of Bio-Grape goodies. We recommend you take the samples home and serve with some good cheese, fine wine and fabulous friends.

For more information or photographs please also contact Helen Lewis. For UK-based sales and distribution enquiries please contact Alexandra Rocheteau-Hasan at alexandrahasan@aol.com, +44 (0) 7946190116.

(1) Four major nutraceuticals identified in grape skin and seed
A nutraceutical is a natural substance derived from plants, which has been shown to have a strong therapeutic benefit.

Resveratrol - is a natural substance that fights the fungus that harms foods such as grapes may help prevent cancer, according to a study published in the British Journal of Cancer. Professor Gerry Potter, who led the study, has found that the human body will convert resveratrol into a known anti-cancer agent that can selectively target and destroy cancer cells.

Marty Mayo, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics at the University of Virginia has discovered a possible mechanism for the reported anti-cancer activity of resveratrol. “But it could also explain how resveratrol may help to control atherosclerosis, heart disease, arthritis and autoimmune disorders”, according to the researcher.

The researchers found that resveratrol inhibited a reaction in the NF-kB molecule that caused the cancer cells essentially to self-destruct in a process called apoptosis. NF-kB is the key protein that feeds cancer cells.

Scientists from Oregon State University have identified a gene SIRT1 that not only cuts the growth of new fat cells, but also increases the metabolism or use of fat in existing fat cells, an activity helped by resveratrol.

“When the cells are exposed to resveratrol, our studies showed a pretty dramatic reduction in the conversion to fat cells and a lesser but still significant increases in the mobilization of existing fat, or the rate at which the cells metabolized stored fat,” said Mark Leid, a professor of pharmacology in the OSU College of Pharmacy.

Pterostilbene - another compound found in grapes, has cancer-fighting properties, report the Agricultural Research Service (ASR), the main scientific research agency of the US Department of Agriculture. ARS research chemist Agnes Rimando discovered that pterostilbene possesses similar cancer chemo preventive qualities to those found in resveratrol.

Saponins - are a new compound identified by US scientists at the University of California Davis. Andrew Waterhouse, professor of Oenology, said it could be just as important as resveratrol, but while resveratrol is thought to block cholesterol oxidation by its antioxidant action, saponins are believed to work by binding to and preventing the absorption of cholesterol.

Polyphenols (proanthocyanidins) - in grape seed extract can blunt salt-sensitive hypertension to the same extent as previous, potentially carcinogenic, treatments in post-menopausal and hypertensive women, according to a research study led by Ning Peng of the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the US. Ning Peng found that a diet moderately high in grape seed extract can blunt salt-sensitive hypertension to about the same extent as treatment with either plant estrogens or 17B-estradiol.

(2) According to food&drink towers’ Ten Top Trends for 2010 report (to be published at the end of October 2009 at www.foodanddrinktowers.com) ‘Antioxidant Scoring’ will be one of the ten trends set to make a mark on the food and drink industry next year. Bio-Grape is one of the sponsors of this report.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of food&drink towers in the following categories: Health, Food & Drink, Media & Marketing, for more information visit https://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.