• Bidyadanga community members with Gubinge fruit ready for harvest in the community plantation. (Kim Courtenay/Kimberley Training Institute)Source: Kim Courtenay/Kimberley Training Institute
Move over Kale, Vogue just named the Kakadu Plum the next super food and local producers want to meet demand.
18 Feb 2016 - 2:45 PM  UPDATED 18 Feb 2016 - 6:29 PM

The Kakadu plum, or gubinge, was named a super food alongside other native foods including wattle seed, samphire, lemon myrtle, quandong and saltbush on Vogue Australia Online.

The Kakadu plum, which has been eaten for tens of thousands of years, is 1,333 per cent richer in antioxidants than the blueberry. The CSIRO published findings into its nutritional benefits six years ago.

"Kakadu plum may have significant ability to protect against oxidative stress and subsequently represent promising potential antioxidant protection," the report reads.

In 1993, the University of Sydney, Curtin University of Technology, and the Australian Defence Department's Science and Technology Group, presented to the International Congress of Nutrition in Adelaide, research showing Vitamin C levels in gubinge is one hundred times that in oranges, and fives times that in the Hawaiian cherry, the next richest source.   

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Kim Courtenay, a horticulture lecturer at the Kimberley Training Institute, told NITV News the institute has been preparing for international demand for gubinge since it began cultivating 15 years ago.

"We could see gubinge had a commercial potential," he says.

"It has all these wonderful nutritional qualities, so basically we started to incorporate the cultivation of gubinge into our training deliveries."

In 2004, Mr Courtenay with the institute established a plantation of two hundred trees in Bidyadanga community located nearly 200 kilometres south of Broome, the largest Aboriginal community in Western Australia composing five language groups.

It recently produced its first commercial crop, and is ready to expand by another two hundred trees in 2016. And Courtenay says it won't stop there.

Courtenay began producing gubinge as part of a training initiative for people in the Kimberley region to provide enterprise opportunities.

Ten years ago the institute developed the Balu Buru (Place of Trees) site, home to about 1,000 gubinge trees at 12 Mile, to train locals to cultivate gubinge and other bush foods in harmony with cultural practices.

"It can be part of something that creates employment and engages people and promotes health," he says.

"In that process of delivering horticulture to communities, there's a big advantage of growing traditional plants, because the local communities have a traditional connection with it, people related to it a lot more," he says.

Mr Courtenay says local people also use parts of the gubinge tree bark for its medicinal benefits. It is known to have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.

Kriol Kitchen's Gubinge Jam with Bush Fig Cup Cakes and Bush Passion Fruit Icing