Large amounts of citrus and grape by-products that are normally treated as waste and generally disposed of in landfills could potentially be used in the production of natural food preservatives. This is one of the main findings of an interdisciplinary study at Stellenbosch University (SU).
“Our research has shown that the use of bioactive-rich citrus and winery by-products could provide an efficient, inexpensive, easily available and environmentally friendly platform for the production of natural and sustainable food preservatives,” says Dr Cletos Mapiye from the Department of Animal Sciences at SU. He conducted the research with colleagues from the Department of Food Science and the Postharvest Technology Research Laboratory in the Department of Horticultural Sciences at SU. The study was published recently in the open access journal Sustainability.
“Bioactive phytochemicals play an important role in preserving food quality by retaining flavour, colour, texture and nutrients, while reducing the chance of contracting a foodborne illness and potentially contributing to the prevention of chronic diseases due to their antioxidant properties.” Stellenbosch University