Project to turn pomace into food

Project to turn pomace into food

Researchers are seeking methods of introducing blackcurrant pomace – a rich source of polyphenols and fibre – into bread, muffins, biscuits and breakfast foods.

Food scientists at the University of Huddersfield, UK, have enlisted the aid of Lucozade Ribena Suntory as they carry out government funded research into how a fruit by-product could enrich the fibre content of bread by up to 15%.

The company has provided samples of pomace, the material left after blackcurrants have been pressed for juice, to support the university, where Dr Vassilis Kontogiorgos, Professor Grant Campbell and Dr Katerina Alba are carrying out the UK’s contribution to the Europe wide project named Berrypom. The goal is to exploit the nutritional and economic value of pomace, which consists of the skins, pulp, seeds and stems of berries after juicing. It can account for up to 30% of the product, but has so far had limited use and is often discarded.

However, the pomace is a potentially rich source of polyphenols and fibre and therefore researchers in five European countries plus New Zealand have come together for Berrypom, which seeks to find methods of introducing it into cereal products, including bread, muffins, biscuits and breakfast foods.

The university team is concentrating on ways to introduce the pomace into bread dough and the effects of this on taste and colour.

“We are aiming for an increase in fibre content of up to 15%,” says Dr Kontogiorgos, “and except for the colour you can’t tell the difference.”

Early findings are that flavour is hardly affected by the introduction of pomace, but bread and muffins can acquire a dark colouration. Therefore, ways to lighten the colour of the blackcurrant by-product are being explored.

Berrypom was fostered by an EU project named Susfood. Individual governments have been providing financial backing and the University of Huddersfield has received £150,000 from the UK’s Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs. The university itself has added £70,000.

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