Vic Cherikoff is a pioneer of the industry exploring the applications and unlocking the potential of Australian native herbs, spices, fruits, nuts, seeds and other ingredients.The plant cultivars and functional selections we now globally supply to food, beverage, cosmetic and pharmaceutical markets are described below. Please be aware that we have selected forms with these characteristics and not all products going by the same names will exhibit these effects. For more information, please email us for a specification sheet. (Include a few details on your interest).
Wattleseeds are highly nutritious as a food and were Aboriginal dietary staples, particularly of desert peoples. They are high in protein, unsaturated fats and carbohydrates as well as dietary fibre. There is mounting evidence that the complexity of the carbohydrates (fructans) in wattleseeds play a protective role against diabetes. Clinical studies show that foods flavoured with wattle tend to be more slowly absorbed and hence more filling than without the wattle. Cherikoff Wattle has a lowering effect on the glycaemic index of products incorporating it as an ingredient. Anecdotally, wattle as an infusion has a digestive effect, mildly increasing gastric motility shortly after ingestion.
In addition, wattle appears to stabilise cream where it seems to stop water from migrating out of the emulsion and helps to hold whipped cream products naturally. Whipped wattle cream is also slower to sour than without the wattle and I have had open bowls of whipped wattle cream end up looking like a sun-baked, cracked and fissured, mud flat with the cream still edible, even if a bit chewy. As a flavour, wattle has a coffee, chocolate and hazelnut character and is absolutely delicious, particularly in cream, ice cream and desserts.
Lemon myrtle (lemon ironwood)
Lemon myrtle a unique fragrance of lemon, lime and lemongrass and a history of use by rainforest Aborigines as a tonic plant and an aphrodisiac (sic). In contemporary use, lemon myrtle (as an herbal infusion) is becoming famous amongst singer/performers who report that it contributes to the care of their voices and in treating sore throats and laryngitis. One of the major constituents of lemon myrtle oil is citral, which is a very strong, natural anti-microbial and a central nervous system relaxant.
Lemon myrtle is available in milled, dry herb, essential oil, encapsulated oil or soluble oil forms. The aromatic quality of lemon myrtle enhances ordinary lemon or lime providing the top notes to citrus base flavours.
Aniseed myrtle (ring-wood)
This herb is related to lemon myrtle and is available as a dry, milled herb, pure oil or as a soluble oil as for lemon myrtle. Cherikoff's aniseed myrtle contains trans-anethole and is cis-anethole-free. This in crucial since cis-anethole is considered to be carcinogenic. Trans-anethole, is highly tonic and stimulant and mildly addictive. It is pharmacologically active as a sympathomimetic and has phytoestrogenic properties. Trans-anethole rich herbs have traditionally been used to treat conditions of digestive debility with anorexia, belching, hiccupping or reflux and persistent epigastric pain.
Anecdotally, anethole settles intestinal cramps, colic and flatulence, especially in children. The descriptors wild anisette, hinterland or rainforest essence are often used instead of the word aniseed, which can be polarising. However, informal screening has shown that 75-80% of those people who do not particularly like aniseed still react positively towards this sweeter, subtly aromatic, native Australian alternative.
This herb is a natural berry and other fruit flavour enhancer and may have similar biological and functional activity to cinnamon due to its content of cinnamates. Specifically, the primary active appears to be the methyl cinnamate which is refreshing and cooling and also an aromatic stimulant with stomachic effects.
Cinnamate has been shown to be metabolised to cinnamic acid which reputedly contributes to an anti-cancer action in the large bowel as with most organic acids. The stimulant effect reputedly extends to aphrodisic qualities (sic).
The flavour and aroma of forestberry herb itself, are a mix of passionfruit and berry with a hint of caraway and cumin.
Native peppermint (Australian peppermint)
This herb contains most of the same constituents as conventional peppermint and anecdotally exhibits similar digestive settling effects through its action as a warming, digestive tonic. European peppermint acts upon gastric, intestinal and colonic mucosa and expectations are for an identical activity for the native peppermint. The content of phellandrene may impart a protective action against bowel disease.
Wild lime and Lemon aspen
Are both native rainforest fruits. The wild lime has a complex character with a touch of bitterness. Lemon aspen has a unique citrus flavour and a slight eucalyptus and menthol finish. Both are available as whole fruit purees. These fruits have a similar vitamin C content when fresh as their conventional counterparts and like many fruits contain polyphenolic compounds as anti-oxidants. Limonenes may also contribute a functional action.
Mountain pepper and Australian pepperberries
The active component of mountain pepper leaves and fruits is polygodial, which is responsible for the food heat or zing of the pepper. Polygodial also occurs in the European herb, redleg (Polygonum species) and infusions of this herb are used in folk medicine in the treatment of arthritis.
Available as pieced dry flowers, milled powder and a very concentrated, ethanolic extract. Rosella has a deep crimson colour from its content of anthocyanins which are polyphenols and anti-oxidant. It reputedly has relaxant effects on smooth muscle fibres and is generally promoted as a restorative.
Other ingredients are continuously becoming available including anti-microbials, sedatives, anti-irritants and anti-arthritics. Please contact Vic Cherikoff to discuss how we can assist you.