They formulate products based on waste

Another food industry has emerged that develops healthy ingredients from production and biotechnology waste, according to research. Waste from food production can provide more healthy components than the product from which it was created. This was shown by the Regional Center for Nutrition and Health Studies (Creas), dependent on the Catholic University of Valparaís, which together with the company Bayas del Sur revalued the residues from juice production, obtaining a berry concentrate rich in antioxidants. , with 6,000 to 24,000 ORAC (free radical absorption capacity).

And this is not an isolated case. All one industry it evolves around what is known as food functional. Several entrepreneurs have started biotechnology projects to salvage this waste and turn it into ingredients with additional nutritional content.

This berry concentrate project was financed by the Fund for the Promotion of Scientific and Technological Development (Fondef), and as a result of its successful results, a patent application is already underway, and five scientific publications are in the works.

How is this possible? Waste or raw materials left over from the production process have important bioactive properties, almost as effective as food in its natural state. Bioactive substances have a proven ability to eliminate free radicals, maintain normal cholesterol levels, improve the immune system and support healthy brain activity. Its qualities have been recognized by the international scientific community.

This type of project becomes even more relevant if you consider that agriculture in Chile produces about 50 thousand tons of plant and industrial waste per year that goes directly into the trash. But the revaluation of plant and industrial waste is not an easy process, says Caroline León, head of the Creas project. “There is no standard process, so an investigation must be conducted in each case.” The only common procedure is to perform toxicity and stabilization tests.

Banana flour, an ingredient that provides vitamins A, B, fiber and minerals such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, fluoride, iodine and magnesium, is another functional product developed by Crea, said María Elvira Zúñiga, its executive director.

Also final products, ready to eat, is an area that is developing in this organization. “We have prototypes of cookies, cakes and cereal bars with added bioactive substances,” Zúñiga said. If the testing phase is positive and the market response is favorable, they will be available to consumers in a short time.

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