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Researchers from the University of Melbourne’s School of Land and Environment are studying the antioxidant potential-as well as possible food, beverage, and dietary supplement applications-of fruit byproducts. These byproducts include fruit skins, which are often discarded during production of prepackaged fruits and juices, or fed to animals, reported Nerissa Hannink, senior media officer for the university.
Researchers confirmed that fruit waste-such as the skins of tomatoes, apples, plums, peaches, pears, grapes, and apricots-were found to be antioxidant-rich. (To study the fruit waste’s antioxidant content, the researchers turned the byproduct into a powder through processes such as heating, which they said substantially increased the level of antioxidants extracted from the waste.)
In some cases, the researchers reported that the byproducts offered more antioxidants than other popular forms of the fruits.
For instance, the researchers reported that tomato waste contained twice the amount of lycopene compared to tomato juice. So far, the researchers say that apple byproducts may be the most antioxidant promising.
The researchers are working with a major food production company in Victoria to determine whether the antioxidant-concentrated powder they created from the fruit waste can be used in food products, as well as supplements, “for extra health benefits.” Possible applications being tested are using the fruit waste as thickeners in fruit products, coverings for capsules, and added antioxidants in nutrition bars.
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