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SA not yet ready for health claims on food labels, by Engela Duvenage, 25 August 2021

Health professionals often cite the use of informative food labels as a way of spreading the news about the health benefits (or not) of certain foodstuffs, in an effort to curb many lifestyle-related non-communicable diseases. This is not yet allowed according to current South African food label legislation. Even if it ever should be, the effect of such messaging could still be limited given barriers caused by language choices, literacy levels and the widespread use of the informal food market. So says Ms Melvi Todd, a PhD student in Food Science at Stellenbosch, and her research associates in a study in the science journal Appetite. Read full article...

Honeybush research leads to PhD at TUT, 17 August 2021

Dr Mabizela, who hails from Madadeni in Newcastle, received her doctorate at TUT’s recent virtual graduation ceremony after completing her thesis “Metabolic and quality profiling of Cyclopia subternata and C. genistoides in response to seasonal variation and drought stress”. Read full article...

Workshop introduces grading tool to the industry, 5 August 2021

The DSI/ARC Honeybush Project is playing a valuable role in the rolling out of a recently-developed quality grading system for fermented honeybush tea to the local indigenous tea industry, primarily to ensure that the research that has gone into it can be put into action. Read full article...

New guide helps industry make sense of newly-developed quality grading system for Honeybush tea, 5 August 2021

Last year (2020), a quality grading and assessment system for fermented honeybush tea was developed – the first standardised tool of its kind available for use by South Africa's local indigenous tea industry. Researchers involved have now written a 39-page illustrated guide containing detailed notes on how those in the industry involved in in quality control, marketing, research and development can at best use the newly-developed quality grading system and accompanying sensory tools such as the e-scorecard, colour reference card, aroma lexicon and chemical reference standards. Read full article...

Project a boost to South Africa’s indigenous honeybush industr31 May 2021

The local honeybush industry is receiving major support through a focused multi-year project implemented by the Agricultural Research Council (ARC). It has already greatly expanded practical know how on the best practices available to the growing local honeybush industry. The project is part of ongoing efforts to strengthen the industry and its people, and to ensure that the indigenous teas being produced in South Africa are ultimately of such a high standard that it can compete on the tea markets of the world.  Read full article...

RSG (radio) interviews during May 2021​: In May 2021, RSG (radio) broadcast two interviews with Dr Brigitte du Preez about her honeybush research, including the develop of a sensory wheel for the honeybush industry. She also spoke about current research at the ARC and Stellenbosch University focused on the sustainable production of honeybush, the genetic improvement of the crop and efforts to make the research more accessible and relevant to the industry. She was interviewed by journalist Eloise Pretorius. The interviews are available as podcasts on the RSG website dated 7 May 2021 and 14May 2021.

SA Agri-media introduced to honeybush research project, 1 May 2021

Research in support of the fledgling honeybush industry was presented to media members of the !Xhariep Region of Agricultural Writers South Africa at a recent Agriculture Research Council (ARC) Infruitec-Nietvoorbij campuses media information day. Read full article...

Bridging the knowledge gap: new insights published on optimal honeybush harvesting by Brigitte du Preez, 18 February 2021

Until recently, little was known about optimum harvesting practices of honeybush plantations that would ensure a quality product. High quality honeybush plants should have leaves that produce an herbal tea with a good aroma and taste, as well as extracts with high bioactivity such as antioxidant properties.  In her PhD study on the impact of harvest season on the quality of honeybush tea, Ms Gugu Mabizela, who studied at ARC Infruitec–Nietvoorbij, identified Summer as the optimum season to harvest Cyclopia subternata plantations.   Read full article...

New pamphlet takes stock of some honeybush diseases by Engela Duvenage, 28 January 2021

The Agricultural Research Council (ARC) has compiled a new pamphlet containing know how and photographs about the most common diseases that cause dieback, pruning wounds and young shoot infections in plantations of Cyclopia. Control measures are also highlighted. Read full article...

Trio of PhD degrees for project's students by Engela Duvenage, 14 December 2020

Any investment in research and the creation of new knowledge is at its heart also an investment in the people who perform the studies, and who try to make sense of what they experience and find in the process. It is to this end that the DSI/ARC Honeybush Project is proud of three doctoral students funded through the initiative who have all successfully completed their PhD studies in 2020. They are Dr Jenifer Koen, Dr Brigitte du Preez and Ms Gugu Mabizela. Read full article...

Food Label Study lands PhD Student Top Honours at Symposium by Engela Duvenage, December 2020

PhD student Melvi Todd was recognised by the South African Medical Research Council (MRC) after the 10th annual Biomedical Research and Innovation Platform (BRIP) Symposium. Todd received the award for the best PhD oral presentation. The online event was hosted online from 19 to 20 October 2020. Read full article....

Nursery owners hone their skills by Engela Duvenage, December 2020

Such was the interest in a short course about various aspects related to the management of honeybush nurseries that it was fully booked within a week. The one-day course was held on 25 November 2020 at the Thornham Community Hall, close to Storms River in the Eastern Cape, and attracted beginners as well as more experienced honeybush nursery managers. Read full article ...

An explosion of aromas at “Woordfees” honeybush Science Café by Grethe Bestbier, March 2020

Sweet, floral or spicy. Rosy, fruity or woody. This science café at the 2020 Woordfees at Stellenbosch University, was all about the magic of honeybush tea. With its exciting variety of aromas, this indigenous tea is more than just a soothing drink. Read full article ...

Communicating honeybush science by Marina Joubert, December 2019

During 2019, researchers and students who participate in the DSI/ARC Honeybush Project, attended a series of science communication training events. The series kicked off with an introduction to science communication on 13 June 2019. Read full article ...