The Hort Innovation onion nutrition education program for health professionals and the food service industry (VN20002) has continued building momentum over the past six months. Designed to improve the awareness, knowledge, attitude and culinary uses of professionals regarding the nutrition and health benefits of onions, the program encourages recommending onions to their patients, clients and patrons as part of a healthy and nutritious diet, ultimately helping increase onion consumption. 

 The program is in its third year and continues to strengthen connections with health and food service professionals. The program has an amazing breadth of activity, as can be seen from the following overview of activity in the last six months: 

  •  The Australian Onions digital hub has been built up with content during the course of the program and now houses a comprehensive library of educational resources and evidence-based research and information on the health and nutrition benefits of onions.
  •  The food service section of the digital hub contains inspiration on how to feature onions as the hero in a wide range of dishes and demonstrates how to include onions in many recipes and menu offerings.
    Head Chef Arin Ellis from Camperdown Commons finishing caramelised onion, Gorgonzola cream and walnut calzone served straight from a wood-fired oven

    The digital hub also provides a suite of tools to directly support members of the Australian onion industry. Visit the hub and click on the Industry Portal button to access the password-protected industry section of the website (the password is AOIP). Search for new ideas and inspiration regarding the wonderful health and nutrition claims that can be made about onions. The health claims in this document are consumer-friendly versions of officially permitted claims that comply with the Australian New Zealand Food Standards Code. 

  • Another core program activity is the representation of Australian Onions at health professional conferences across the country. Australian Onions created a trade exhibit at its second trade exhibit at the General Practice Conference and Exhibition (GPCE) on 19-21 May 2023 at Sydney’s International Convention Centre. Australian Onions showcased the Onion digital hub along with a raft of new educational and patient resources.

    The conference was well represented with more than 800 general practitioners attending during the three-day meeting. Nearly 300 GPs signed up to our digital e-newsletter and more than 3,000 hard copies of the new onion information resources where distributed. Delegates were also treated with culinary inspiration and taste testing of some newly created onion recipes for onion relish, pickles and dukkha, by chef Tawnya Bahr (Straight To The Source co-founder).

  • The second onion ‘farm to plate farm tour’ curated by Straight To The Source with a group of influential nutrition and culinary professionals took place at Mitolo Family Farms in South Australia last month. The Mitolo team showed us first-hand how onions are grown and exactly what it takes to get this humble hero from farm to fork – harvested, graded, packed and delivered fresh to retailers.  

The team learned how to enjoy 75 grams of onion every day with a range of creative and innovative usage ideas. Catch some inspiration and insights in our video from the day 

  • Our fourth food service industry onions workshop took place recently at the unique inner west Sydney venue called Camperdown Commons where we delivered a dynamic and hands-on Australian Onions workshop for some of Sydney’s leading chefs. Head Chef Arin Ellis from Camperdown Commons – along with fermenting expert Alex Howery-Smith from Cornersmith Cafe & Picklery, and chef Tawnya Bahr from Straight To The Source – inspired our guest chefs with unique ways to showcase onions on their menus. 

L-R: Virgin Bloody Mary withpickled onions. Leading Australian ferment expert Holly Davis presenting on flavour and zero-waste with onions. Attendees of the GPCE conference

Contact the program visit or contact Bite Communications Program Manager, Penny Eustace, via

This project has been funded by Hort Innovation, using the onion research and development levy and contributions from the Australian Government. Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture.
Project: VN20002