For sustainable society


Upcycling grape seeds

It is said that wine has been drunk from about 8,000 years ago, and it has a long history with people. A research, that further deepens the relationship, is taking place in Australia.

It is an industry-government-academia collaboration project. Centering on supplements manufacturer Swisse Wellness, Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Center, a government think tank that studies the effective utilization of food waste, and Swinburne University of Technology are working together to produce a highly functional nutritional supplement from grape seeds that are waste in the wine manufacturing process. Although the description of the product has not been unveiled yet, it is said that it will be an effective product for health and beauty based on extract from seeds.

Regarding the healthy ingredients of grape seeds, many people may have heard of it as grape seed oil. The main ingredients are linoleic acid and oleic acid, which are essential fatty acids that cannot be made in the body. They are said to be effective in lowering cholesterol and preventing lifestyle-related diseases. Since they can be expected to have anti-aging due to the antioxidant effect of abundant vitamin E, they are widely used in cosmetics.

In the project, Swinburne University of Technology is providing supports from a technological aspect. They have examined the technological feasibility and methods for optimizing production efficiency so far. In the future, to achieve commercialization, they will develop a testing machine that stably produces the purity and quantity required for product manufacturing. In terms of production technology, Viridi Innovations, a startup company that has developed a new method for extracting polyphenols from grape seeds, is also cooperating.

The Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Center (CRC) supports distribution. It has built a supply chain with some of leading wine producing regions in Australia, such as the Yarra Valley and the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsulas. It is said that the extraction will be started from the grapes will be harvested in 2020.

Upcycle is making waste into valuable products by making the best use of materials and property, and this project can be one of them. As ecoist has introduced an example of transforming stainless razors into spoons and forks, up to now, upcycling has been conducted through initiatives in the fields of household goods and fashion.

However, in recent years, it seems that upcycling has been spreading to the field of food, such as the example of grapes introduced above. Processing and selling imperfect vegetables and fruits as products is also upcycling. It is common for food waste to be composted, but some of them may be able to be distributed to the world by adding value.

Photo:Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Center

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