Glossary Of Terms
Açaí (pronounced ( ah-sigh-EE ) is a berry that grows on the Açaí Palm Trees in the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil. Açaí Palm is a member of the genus Euterpe, which contains 8 species of palms native to tropical Central and South America, from Belize south to Brazil and Peru, growing mainly in floodplains and swamps.
Amino acids are the basic structural building units of proteins. Amino acids are critical to life, and have a variety of roles in metabolism. One particularly important function is as the building blocks of proteins. Amino acids are also important in many other biological molecules, such as forming parts of coenzymes, or as precursors for the biosynthesis of molecules. Due to this central role in biochemistry, amino acids are very important in nutrition.
One of a group of flavonoid pigments. Anthocyanins occur in various plant organs and are responsible for many of the blue, red, and purple colours in plants (particularly in flowers). In addition to their role as light-attenuators, anthocyanins act as powerful antioxidants.
An antioxidants is a chemical compound that is capable of slowing or preventing the oxidation of other molecules. It does this by binding to free oxygen radicals preventing these radicals from damaging healthy cells.
A phytonutrient, alone and in combination with similar phytosterols, ß-sitosterol reduces blood levels of cholesterol, and is sometimes used in treating hypercholesterolemia.
Caffeine is found in varying quantities in the beans, leaves, and fruit of some plants. In humans, caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, having the effect of temporarily warding off drowsiness and restoring alertness. Beverages containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea, soft drinks and energy drinks enjoy great popularity.
Calcium is an important component of a healthy diet and a mineral necessary for life. It is required for proper development of bones and teeth. It is also needed for proper muscle activity and blood clotting.
Carbohydrates are naturally occurring compounds that consist of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and are produced by green plants. It includes sugars, starches, celluloses, and gums and serves as a major energy source in the diet of animals.
Certified Organic products are grown and processed without the use of synthetic chemicals, fertilisers, genetic modification, free from contamination by human and industrial waste and processed without irradiation or food additives. Organic farming and production is increasingly being recognised as being on the leading edge of food and fibre technology. Organics embody ethical, responsible and sustainable practices. The Organic process links soil, plants, people and environment in a continual cycle.
Citric Acid is a weak organic acid derived from the fermentation of sugar cane. It is a natural product obtained from a naturally induced process and is also found naturally in fruit, such as all Citrus fruits.
Dietary fibre, sometimes called "roughage", is the indigestible portion of plant foods. Wholegrains, vegetables, nuts and fruits are all good sources. Dietary fibre is beneficial in the diet because it relieves and prevents constipation, appears to reduce the risk of colon cancer, and reduces plasma cholesterol levels and therefore the risk of heart disease. Fibre also slows gastric emptying and contributes to satiety (feeling full).
Essential Fatty Acid
Often called EFA, essential fatty acids are an unsaturated fatty acid that is required for normal, healthy, functioning of the body. Essential fatty acids cannot be made in the body; they must be obtained from foods such as nuts, oilseeds and their products (e.g. sunflower oil and other vegetable oils), and oil-rich fish. There are two families of EFAs: omega-3 and omega-6.
Fair Trade is an alternative approach to conventional trade. It is a trading partnership based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing rights of, marginalised producers and workers - especially in low-income regions.
Free radicals are unstable, chemically incomplete substances that ‘steal’ electrons from other molecules. Once in the body, free radicals can damage tissues and delicate cell membranes. They can also damage DNA, disrupting our store of inherited information; this may lead to the initiation of certain cancers. Stress, exposure to pollution, cigarette smoke, and strong sunlight can increase the formation of free radicals.
A dehydration process typically used to preserve a perishable material or make the material more convenient for transport. If a freeze-dried substance is sealed to prevent the reabsorption of moisture, the substance may be stored at room temperature without refrigeration, and be protected against spoilage for many years. Freeze-drying also causes less damage to the substance than other dehydration methods using higher temperatures.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ, formally ANZFA) is the governmental body responsible for developing food standards for Australia and New Zealand.
Greenpeace is an international non-governmental organization for the protection and conservation of the environment.
An essential mineral to nearly all known organisms, for the formation of hemoglobin, the chemical in the blood that carries oxygen to the cells. Iron deficiency causes anemia with unusual tiredness or weakness, decreased physical endurance, shortness of breath, decreased resistance to infections, or slowed growth in children.
An essential mineral; present in all human tissues, especially bone. The presence of magnesium is essential to all cells of all known living organism because it activates or is involved in many basic cellular processes. Deficiency in human beings leads to disturbances of muscle and nervous system.
Dietary minerals are the chemical elements required by living organisms. They are inorganic materials found in foods that are essential for growth and health. Some common minerals are iron, zinc and calcium.
Formed in 1986, The National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia (NASAA) is the nation's leading organic certifier. The scope of NASAA's certification service covers the organic supply chain – from input manufacturers to producers, processors to wholesale and retail operations - ensuring organic integrity 'from paddock to plate'.
Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) is a method of measuring antioxidant capacities of different foods. It was developed by the scientists at the National Institute on Aging in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, and is now the world standard for measuring antioxidant capacity.
Phytosterols is the general name given to sterols occurring in plants also known as plant sterols. They are a group of steroid alcohols, phytochemicals naturally occurring in plants. As a food ingredient or additive, phytosterols have cholesterol-lowering properties (reducing cholesterol absorption in intestines).
Proteins are fundamental components of all living cells and include many substances, such as enzymes, hormones, and antibodies, that are necessary for the proper functioning of an organism. They are essential in the diet of animals for the growth and repair of tissue and can be obtained from foods such as meat, fish, eggs, milk, and legumes.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration or TGA is the regulatory body for therapeutic goods (including medicines, medical devices, gene technology, and blood products) in Australia. It is a Division of the Australian Department of Health and Ageing established under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (Cth). The TGA is responsible for conducting assessment and monitoring activities to ensure that therapeutic goods available in Australia are of an acceptable standard and that access to therapeutic advances is in a timely manner.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant responsible for proper functioning of the immune system and for maintaining healthy eyes and skin. It is actually a group of fat soluble compounds known as tocopherols.
Vitamins are organic components in food that are needed in very small amounts for growth and for maintaining good health.
Wildcrafting is the practice of harvesting plants from their natural, or "wild" habitat, for food, medicinal, or other purposes. It applies to uncultivated plants wherever they may be found, and is not necessarily limited to wilderness areas. Ethical considerations are often involved, such as protecting endangered species.