Tauranga is hosting the first International Health Symposium focused on kiwifruit from today, with 150 overseas researchers, academics, health professionals and health media expected to attend alongside their Kiwi counterparts.

Hosted by the Riddet Institute of New Zealand the event would focus on the nutritional and health benefits of kiwifruit, based on the latest research and scientific evidence.

Zespri health and nutrition innovation leader Dr Juliet Ansell advised people "to watch this space" as some exciting results would be announced.

Its research partners would be discussing digestive health, vitamin c health and metabolic health, she said.


Another key note speaker was Professor Jaap Seidell, a Professor of Nutrition and Health and Director of the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Amsterdam.

Professor Seidell was an eminent researcher with expertise across diet, healthy nutrition and the causes and effects which contribute to weight gain and obesity.

Hot topics that would be covered included nutrient richness of kiwifruit, digestive health benefits of kiwifruit through the properties of fibre and actinidin, kiwifruit's vitamin C health benefits, and kiwifruit and metabolic health.

Eighty per cent of New Zealand's kiwifruit exports are grown in the Bay of Plenty.

The Health Symposium was expected to put the Bay of Plenty on the map for kiwifruit research as well as production.

Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller MP said it made complete sense that this symposium was held in the Bay.

"The symposium will reinforce the status of the Bay of Plenty as the capital for kiwifruit production but also a key area in terms of kiwifruit research," he said.

"Research and exposure for the industry can only mean good things for our region. The Kiwifruit industry employs 6,000 Bay of Plenty locals so it's great to see we're looking towards a record breaking harvest for this year."

WHAT: International Health Symposium

FOCUS: To discuss and explore the nutritional and health benefits of kiwifruit, based on the latest research.

HOST: The Riddet Institute of New Zealand.

WHEN: April 12-14 at Tauranga's ASB Arena.