MORE THAN R2 MILLION FOR LOCAL ROOIBOS RESEARCH IN 2012
23.01.12, Cape Town
Exercise, stress, ageing, cancer and obesity are some of the lifestyle challenges that feature prominently in the South African Rooibos Council’s R2 million research budget this year.
In addition to these health-focused projects, several more researchers will receive funding to explore the chemistry, composition and flavour profile of this unique African herbal tea, or to advance organic and environmentally friendly Rooibos farming.
The research is led by prominent, independent researchers at South African universities and science councils.
“The new knowledge generated by these research projects is of huge value to the industry,” says Mientjie Mouton, chair of the SARC’s product research committee. “In an increasingly competitive and regulated global market, it is becoming more and more important to substantiate centuries of anecdotal evidence about the health benefits of Rooibos with hard scientific facts.”
The South African Rooibos Council awards grants to local researchers, but encourages them to collaborate with experts around the world.
“Due to the growing interest in the health properties of natural products and specifically herbal teas, there are many more top biochemists around the world investigating Rooibos,” Mouton explains.
“During the past few years we have seen exciting and promising results about Rooibos and topics such as heart health and diabetes emerging from Sweden, Italy, Spain and Germany. Locally, SARC funding has contributed to major advances in our understanding of the health-promoting properties of Rooibos – specifically its ability to slow down and prevent various forms of cancer, as well as its potential to protect heart health in individuals at risk of cardiovascular disease.”
Issued by the South African Rooibos Council. Summaries of the most recent rooibos studies published in top peer-reviewed scientific journals can be found on the website of the Council at www.sarooibos.co.za
Notes to editors
You are welcome to contact the following SARC grant-holders for more information on their research:
- Professor Maryna van de Venter (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University) heads up a new project into the anti-ageing properties of Rooibos – this project is just starting in 2012
Tel: (041) 504 2813; Email: Maryna.VanDeVenter@nmmu.ac.za
- Dr Johan Louw (Medical Research Council) is the lead researcher on a project looking into the ability of Rooibos to battle the bulge (anti-obesity properties)
Tel: (021) 938 0322; Email: email@example.com
- Prof Jeanine Marnewick (Cape Peninsula University of Technology) has several volunteers sweating it out to explore the role of Rooibos in optimal performance during exercise, including post-exercise recovery
Tel: (021) 953 8416; Email: MarnewickJ@cput.ac.za
- Prof Amanda Swart (Stellenbosch University) is getting exciting results on the potential role of Rooibos in combating stress
Tel: (021) 8085864/2; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Prof Wentzel Gelderblom (Medical Research Council) who has been doing extensive work on the cancer preventing properties of Rooibos and Honeybush teas
Tel: (021) 938-0286; Email: email@example.com
- Prof Lizette Joubert (Agricultural Research Council) whose work focuses on the chemistry, quality and flavour profile of Rooibos, including the development of a rooibos flavour wheel.
Tel: (021) 809 3444; Email: JoubertL@arc.agric.za
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