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Health: Apple waste discovered as a natural marvel


Valuable antioxidants and flavors can be obtained from apple residues

Good news for food companies and consumers, because certain synthetic ingredients in food can soon be replaced by cheap natural ingredients. This is made possible with the help of a new technology that produces high-quality antioxidant compounds from apple leftovers, seeds, peels and pulp that can be used for food production.

A team of researchers led by Professor Scampicchio from the Faculty of Science and Technology at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano in South Tyrol-Italy recently presented a sustainable concept for food production in which synthetically produced antioxidant compounds are replaced by higher quality natural compounds. The research results were published in the "Journal of Cleaner Production".

New production method

The new innovative technology uses so-called supercritical carbon dioxide to extract high-quality antioxidants from the waste from apple processing. With supercritical carbon dioxide, the carbon dioxide is in a liquid state, although the temperature and pressure have exceeded the critical point and it would normally be gaseous. The researchers have used the potential of supercritical carbon dioxide extraction to extract phenolic (aromas) and antioxidant compounds from apple processing waste.

New natural substances for food production

The result of the research work offers the food industry new natural substances as an alternative to synthetic ones. In addition, they are said to be even cheaper in production costs and they continue to use food that previously ended up in the garbage and had to be disposed of at low cost. This new process should attract attention, particularly in South Tyrol, where a large part of the agricultural and food industries depend on apple production.

Colorless, odorless, non-toxic, non-flammable and safe

The researchers demonstrated that the compounds obtained in this way have a higher antioxidant effect than those obtained from traditional technologies such as softening or solvent extraction. Professor Scampicchio emphasized the advantages of the process in a press release: "It is colorless, odorless, non-toxic, non-flammable and safe." (vb)

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