Food scientists in Huddersfield have taken on a £220,000 government project to turn blackcurrant waste into food.
And staff at the University of Huddersfield have enlisted the help of big UK company Lucozade Ribena Suntory to find out how to turn the fruit’s pomace into an edible substance to enrich the fibre content of common foods.
The drinks’ manufacturer is giving pomace samples to Dr Vassilis Kontogiorgos, Prof Grant Campbell and Dr Katerina Alba. The waste product consists of the pulp, seeds, and stems left after the blackcurrants have been pressed for juice.
Accounting for up to 30% of the product, the team believes that the pomace is a potentially rich source of polyphenols and fibre. However, until now it has generally been discarded.
They are working with researchers in Sweden, Spain, Germany and New Zealand on a project named Berrypom, which aims to use the substance to enrich the nutritional content of bread, muffins, biscuits and breakfast foods.
The Huddersfield group is concentrating on ways to introduce the pomace into bread dough and the effects of this on taste and colour and have received £150,000 from the UK’s Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs.
This is on top of £70,000 added by the university.
Dr Kontogiorgos, said: “We are aiming for an increase in fibre content of up to 15 per cent. And except for the colour you can’t tell the difference.”