Coming together in support of the Australian Wattle seed

Coming together in support of the Australian Wattle seed

Posted by Clare Wijngaarden

On 26th of July, delegates from DAF and UQ, along with members from the Wattle seed Australia Consortium Team, convened at the Elkhorn building at UQ Long Pocket campus, for a day of knowledge sharing, future focussed discussions, and networking around one of our favourite native foods – the wattle seed!

The morning discussions were kicked off by Peter Cunningham (Director, Wattle Seeds Australia) and supported by cups of hot coffee, toasty wattle seed buns, and a selection of tasty jams (courtesy of the host team at UQ).

Peter provided an excellent start to the discussions, sharing valuable insights from his journey working with wattle seeds in both Africa and Australia; truly highlighting the immense potential these seeds hold in creating sustainable food systems. It was especially enlightening to hear about the impact that has already come from the cultivation of selected wattle seed varieties, on regeneration of agricultural land and towards improving food accessibility in regions of Africa.

The next session was led by Angus Jones and Matthew Koop, leaders within the Wattle seed Consortium, who discussed the ongoing scoping study which aims to provide key evidence needed for growing wattle seed markets, as well as uncovering missing pieces of the puzzle in the journey towards overall understanding of Australia’s power seeds.Following a filling networking lunch (and a tour of the facilities for some of our new visitors), Dr. Iman Tahmasbian (DAF) introduced hyperspectral imaging as a valuable tool in establishing the provenance and story of Australian wattle seeds – with many excited and hopeful faces in the crowd as support.

In the next couple of sessions Dr. Oladipupo Q. Adiamo and PhD student Sera Jacob from the ARC Centre for Uniquely Australian Food presented some results from their research, detailing the nutritional profiles, sensory and structural features as well as functional qualities of both the seeds as well as the isolated protein. Their talks further cemented the buzz and excitement of the wattle seed enthusiasts in the room. It was then a bonus and absolute privilege to have Rus Glover (Principal Researcher, ANFAB) add to this with his positive commentary.

Throughout the day, many great discussions were had around the wattle seed industry, R&D priorities, and future collaboration between members from the Wattle seed Australia Consortium Team and UQ, on ways to move the Australian wattle seed industry forward.
To close the events of the day, Prof. Yasmina Sultanbawa led the concluding remarks, leaving all the attendees hopeful about the future of wattle seeds.


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