Project description

With BERRYPOM it is proposed to analyse the value of berry by-products (pomace), to optimise the recovery of bioactive compounds from pomace material, and to incorporate processed berry pomace in cereal-based foods to take advantage of potential nutritional benefits that originate from fibre and bioactive substances in the pomace. 

Food production chain sustainability, which refers to waste reduction and the exploration of innovative ways to increase resource efficiency, is of increasing importance. Fruit processing is a resource-intensive operation that yields, taking juice manufacture as example, up to 70 - 80% product and 20 - 30% waste. The residues that are obtained after juice extraction by pressing contain insoluble cell wall fragments and attached bioactive compounds, and are commonly recycled as animal feed, composted or utilised for biogas production. 

The current established potential for using pomace is to produce pectin (e.g. from apple), or to reuse it as a substrate for pomace brandy. Because pulp residues are a rich source of phytochemicals such as polyphenols, composting results in a loss of valuable nutritional compounds. If utilised in suitable food products, they could be made available to consumers to improve health. Berries are usually exposed to minimal pesticide levels, also making pomace an attractive nutrient source. Within the project, extraction methods will be evaluated to obtain products rich in phytochemicals. The influence of processing steps (e.g. drying or milling) on the antioxidant capacity of pomace will be analysed to optimise the recovery of bioactive compounds. These fibre extracts will then be utilised in a number of different cereal-based foods and extruded products. 

Generally, the project aims to add value to processing waste that contains health-promoting components. We expect a substantial increase of knowledge concerning fibre and phytochemical extraction from berry pomace, on its suitability for enhancing nutritional and sensory properties of cereal-based foods, and on its effects of the sustainability of the food chain. 

BERRYPOM is based on the following hypotheses:  

  1. Value can be added to berry processing when strategies and technologies are developed that make berry pomace usable as a food ingredient.
  2. Foods rich in, or foods enriched with fibre and antioxidants in the diet contribute to the health status of the consumer.
  3. As shown by Material Flow Cost Accounting and other methods, strategies for adding value to berry pomace have a sound economical and ecological basis.

The two main approaches are: 

  1. The determination of technical conditions that allow the delivery of an optimised product from fresh berry pomace with high polyphenol content and high shelf life.
  2. The modification and adaptation of formulations of cereal-based baked or extruded foods which serve as targets for the incorporation of processed berry pomace, to deliver an enhanced product quality.