Now, a sweeter broccoli to reduce heart diseases and cancer.

Now, a sweeter broccoli to reduce heart diseases and cancer.

Scientists at Victoria's Department of Primary Industries (DPI) here, have discovered "Booster Broccoli", a new variety that is the first in the group of super vegetables and contains more anti-oxidants than the usual variety, the ABC report said.

DPI's leading scientist Rod Jones said that the new broccoli is not the result of genetic engineering.

"All we've done is gone back and minded nature's natural diversity," he said.

Jones also said that DPI had partnerships with large companies and had tested 400 varieties of broccoli before selecting the one that had the highest anti-oxidant content and now they have decided to breed the "Booster Broccoli".

"It's also about improving the health of our population in general by getting people to eat vegetables that we know are very good for them," he added.

"It's a premium branded product so the returns to growers should be higher," Jones said

So far more than USD 20 million have been invested in the project, the report said adding that there are another 15 products like tomatoes, capsicum and lettuce that are in line for commercial testing.

"So once those lines come through, plus all the other ones we're looking at, cauliflower, onion, carrot, I don't think it will take too long for the investment to be recouped," he said.

Jones said that the broccoli actually tastes better than the normal variety.

"It tastes sweeter than most other broccoli varieties because it's high in sugar", he said.

Jones further added that the conditions for growing the new varieties are perfect in Australia because when the plants are stressed by a lack of water, the anti-oxidant level goes up.

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