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MELBOURNE, Australia (March 14, 2000 - Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat)---Samoa has a new export.

Importer Helen Russell, a 20-year veteran in the health food industry, is importing the juice from the nonu fruit, or morinda citrifolia, to Australia.

The juice is marketed under its Hawaiian name, noni.

Russell said she researched the various nonu plants around the Pacific and discovered that Samoan nonu has the best tasting fruit for the juice.

"It’s (grown) in rich soils and it was a very good quality product," she said in an interview with Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat. "It’s a pure juice."

The United States also distributes nonu from Hawaii and Tahiti for the Australian market.

Russell has partnered with an agent based in Hawai‘i who has experience in processing nonu and kava.

She said nonu is increasingly playing a major role in natural health products.

"I see a very big future for nonu in Australia and all the other western countries," she said. "It’s a very important plant product. It’s one of the many plant products that is emerging and will become dominant in the next 10 years."

For additional reports from Radio Australia/Pacific Beat, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia/Pacific Beat.

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