Quandong is a wild-harvested Australian native fruit considered a superfood. You’ll find it in Byron Bay Labs’ Vitality hemp protein powder.
The Quandong, aka Native or Desert Peach, is unique to Australia and only found in the central deserts and southern areas of the country. The quandong is known by many other different names to various First Nations groups. The common name we use today is taken from the language of the Wiradjuri people of New South Wales; who call it “guwandhang”.
One of the fascinating aspects of this tree is that it is hemiparasitic. This may sound rather off-putting, but the way the quandong tree survives is very clever. It taps into the root system of other plants and trees to source some of its nitrogen and water, but doesn’t kill the host plants as it’s certainly not in its interests to.
The quandong shrub or tree grows 2-6 metres high depending on local conditions and host availability. Of the three native species known as quandong, all of which are members of the Sandalwood family, only Santalum acumination (desert or sweet quandong) is edible.
The Quandong Fruit
The tree produces a yellow-to-red, dry-textured fruit 20- 25 mm in diameter that has a tart, tangy taste along with varying sweetness depending on the plant.
Australia’s First Nation peoples prize the quandong as a food and it was also important to European settlers. Particularly attractive to both was the fact it could be dried and kept for years until needed, when it is reconstituted with water. It has also been used medicinally as a paste to treat sore gums and toothache.
Uses for quandong today include as a pie filling, in jams, chutneys and sauces – or even as a drink. Byron Bay Labs has created a new food use through inclusion in Vitality; combining quandong and hemp protein powder to produce a supplement that can also be incorporated as an ingredient in a wide range of dishes. Already highly nutritious itself, adding quandong to hemp protein powder gives it some added punch and a unique, very Australian flavour.
Why Is Quandong Considered A Super-Food?
According to the Australian Government-backed AgriFutures Australia (previously Rural Industries R&D Corporation), quandong is a rich source of phenolic-based anti-oxidants and also a very good source of:
– folate (120 μg/100 g DW)
– vitamin E (4.8 mg/100g DW)
– magnesium (217.9 mg/100g DW)
– zinc (4.240 mg/100g DW)
– iron (16.55 mg/100g DW)
Note that the figures above refer to dried quandong.
Quandong’s levels of the abovementioned compounds are superior to that of blueberries; another popular superfood. In terms of anti-oxidants, it was described by RIRDC as “outstanding”; which also noted its qualities warranted further studies in relation to potential health-enhancing properties.
In a ranking of 7 Australian fruits against blueberry by RIRDC, quandong was ranked no.1 on 6 out of 10 important minerals.
Byron Bay Labs’ Quandong Source
The Quandong used in Byron Bay Labs’ Vitality is ethically and sustainably harvested across arid and semi-arid regions of Australia from wild groves managed by First Nations groups.