A new study from researchers at the University of Melbourne finds that the country’s best foods come from diverse, local food producers, while some of the countrys most beloved foods are produced overseas.
Key points:The study found that Australia is home to a wide variety of food, including fresh, frozen and processed foodsBut the study found some foods have unique qualities which make them more distinctiveThe researchers said they wanted to understand the differences between the food styles of different regionsThe study involved more than 100 researchers from a range of academic disciplines including nutrition, agricultural economics, food production, food safety and public health.
The researchers found that the foodstuffs Australians eat are diverse, and some of these foods have a particular flavour, aroma, texture or taste.
They were particularly interested in the differences in the foods that Australian consumers tend to associate with particular regions.
The study looked at food styles across a variety of regions, including regional food styles, regional food categories, regional markets and local foods.
Food styles varied by region and the researchers said the study aimed to highlight the differences and diversity within each region.
The authors noted that some foods, like fruits and vegetables, are grown in more isolated, rural areas while other foods, such as nuts, have grown in urban areas.
“The differences we found between regional and national food styles can be attributed to the geographic proximity of producers and consumers,” lead researcher Dr John Pribram said.
“These are foods that can be grown and prepared in very different areas of Australia.”
“But they are all the same.”
Food styles were also more diverse in some regions than others, according to the study.
“While the regional food types tend to have a more diverse range of ingredients, the national food types generally have a similar mix of ingredients,” Dr Pribrams said.
The differences in regional and nationally produced foods were not confined to fresh fruits and vegetable.
In some cases, regional foods could be made using only fresh produce.
“Food produced in the local region can be more readily exported to other parts of the world, which is one of the reasons why regional food brands tend to be more globally recognised,” Dr Tanya Pribran said.
Dr Pribras said the research also identified the role that regional food regions play in food production and food processing.
“Local food regions can play a major role in the food supply chain,” Dr Darryl Pribra, another researcher from the University, said.
“Food can be produced in different parts of Australia in different places.”
This makes it important for food safety regulators to take into account regional differences when developing food safety standards.
“The study is published in the Journal of the International Food Industry Association.
Topics:food-safety,environment,diet,health,food-processing,fruits-and-vegetables,health-policy,food,perth-6000,australiaFirst posted September 17, 2019 16:00:06Contact Rebecca HarknessMore stories from New South Wales