What is lemon myrtle?

Lemon myrtle, also known as ‘sweet verbena’, is an Australian plant that is currently more commonly seen as an ingredient in household cleaning, personal care and cosmetic products. With a high-impact, distinctive citrus aroma and a taste which is more fragrant than sour, the plant offers a range of health and nutritional benefits. It is also grown with minimal impact on the environment, so is likely to appeal to eco-conscious consumers.

Home in the subtropical rainforests of northern New South Wales and south-east Queensland, the plant has been used by Australians for thousands of years for its high anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties.

Potential ingredient applications

Lemon myrtle is becoming more prevalent in food and drink products, particularly in teas, spirits, sauces and seasonings. The plant can be used for both sweet and savoury applications, adding a fresh, zesty flavour to everything from granola and ice cream to custom herb and spice blends.

The aroma is considered to be cleaner and sweeter than other sources of citral, for example, lemongrass. Another benefit is that without the acidity, it can be used as a lemon flavour alternative for milk-based foods such as cheesecake or ice-cream; removing the problem of curdling. Thanks to its anti-microbial properties, the plant may also act as a natural food preservative.

Here are a few of our ideas:

  • Lemon Myrtle and Ginger Cheesecake 
  • Lemon Myrtle and Macadamia Ice-cream
  • Creamy Lemon Pasta Sauce
  • Tonic Water
  • Flavoured Oil
  • Honey and Lemon Myrtle Tea
  • Garlic Lemon Flatbread

Health benefits of lemon myrtle

This ingredient offers several health benefits, containing vitamins A and E, folate, calcium, and with a high citral content bringing anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, a recent study published in the ‘Toxicology Reports’ journal suggests that its potent anti-inflammatory effects could even be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease. 

It also has a higher lutein content than that of an avocado, which supports eye health.

Environmental Benefits

Lemon myrtle is a hardy plant, requiring minimal input to thrive. Resistant to drought, it’s versatility and sustainability make it an eco-friendly ingredient, with many products promoting its environmental credentials.

If you have any questions our team are ready to help. For further information or to learn more about how Uren can support your plans for 2021, please contact sales@uren.com.