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Wine Health with Bex Bishop, Winemaker at BX of Napa

Recycled Grape Guts Go Green

I wanted to make "chardonnay shots" out of the wine slime that remains in the tank after the yeast and sediment settle and the wine is racked off. It tastes like a delicious protein filled yogurt shake, though a bit scary in color! Here, Oregon State researchers are finding ways to use the pomace! Let no part of the grape go unused!

Researchers turn winemaking trash into potential treasure

Pomace, the waste from wine processing, could be a fine new way to turn a profit for winemakers, according to Oregon State researchers.

While you're recycling the bottle and cork of that full-bodied, peppery shiraz, food scientists at Oregon State University are working on recycling pomace — waste from processing grapes into wine.The industry has to deal with more than 4 million tons of grape pomace a year, according to a press release from OSU

Mostly, the wineries pay to remove their waste, but some is used for crop fertilizing and feeding cows.But now, OSU researchers have found all sorts of uses for the stems, skins and seeds that are the detritus of wine production."We now know pomace can be a sustainable source of material for a wide range of goods," said researcher Yanyun Zhao, a professor and value-added food products specialist with the OSU Extension Service. "We foresee wineries selling their pomace rather than paying others to dispose of it. 

One industry's trash can become another industry's treasure."The researchers experimented with waste from pinot noir, merlot, Morio muscat and Müller-Thurgau grapes — paying attention to the difference between red and white grapes' processing treatments that result in variance in sugar, nitrogen and other chemicals in the pulp content.

The team took the pomace, which is chock-full of dietary fibers and phenolics (chemical compounds that act as antioxidants), and transformed it into powders which can be used in foods.For those who are gluten-free, the powders could be quite a breakthrough. When the researchers added it to muffins and brownies, it increased the fiber and antioxidant levels of the goods, plus decreased the need for traditional flour by 15 percent. They are continuing experiments with the pomace powder in yeast breads.

"Adding fiber-rich ingredients can change a dough's absorption qualities and stiffness," said OSU cereal chemist Andrew Ross. "We're trying to find the right balance of pomace in dough while measuring the bread for its density, volume, color and taste. Commercial bakeries need this information before using pomace flour for large-scale production."Adding the powder to yogurt and salad dressings resulted in slowing microbial growth and the breakdown in fats. In other words, it produces a longer shelf life for the products, with bonus dietary fiber.

For fruits and vegetables, the researchers created stretchable, "colorful, edible coatings and films," which also controlled certain bacterial growth, added antioxidants and slowed the drying process.Beyond foodstuffs, the researchers experimented with making biodegradable boards, which handily could be made into "containers, serving trays and flower pots." The pots degraded well in the soil, taking only 30 days to compost by 50-80 percent.

For wineries, especially in the Pacific Northwest and California, the researchers' work can only be good news. According the university press release, "Now, OSU is seeking to establish partnerships with companies interested in marketing the products it developed."

25 Comments to Recycled Grape Guts Go Green:

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Hello there! Truly useful information. Everyone needs to go green, before it is too later. Just started recycling. I am well on my way!
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