Wine waste extract to be used in functional foods

By Alex McNally

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition

Work is underway to see New Zealand Extract's Vinanza Gold added to
a host of functional foods, including cereal products, health bars
and even chewing gum.

New Zealand Extracts has been researching the stability of its freeze-dried grape extract as an ingredient, and is in talks to bring it into food as a way of boosting antioxidant content. The firm started in 2004 to research possible uses for the 20,000 tonnes of waste produced from wine, namely grapes. Its core product - Vinanza Gold grape seed extract - is starting to make real headway towards hitting supermarket shelves. The company is working with other New Zealand organisations to develop the potential of the extract, which is said to have a high antioxidant value. Antioxidants have the ability to neutralise free radicals that can damage the body's cells. Free radicals can cause oxidative stress by building up in the body. Oxidative stress is thought to contribute to the ageing process and several diseases There has been a rolling movement by the food industry to find nutraceutical uses for food by-products. In Ireland, for example, a wave of possible new functional ingredients is being developed by the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority (Teagasc), some of which are derived from waste products. One of their findings is that onion peel, a common by-product of food processing and have a higher antioxidant activity than the flesh. Campbell Berry-Kilgour, marketing and sales manager, told that the key benefits of Vinanza Gold is that it is traceable, sustainable and uses a solvent free extraction. Most other grape seed extract is produced by extracting the seeds in organic solvents such as ethanol, the firm said. Then the antioxidants are concentrated by spray drying which decreases the antioxidant activity of the polyphenols. However, New Zealand Extracts said its water-based extraction process leaves an extremely high antioxidant content in the extract, and is more stable. The firm says it has an Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) value of 22,000 units/gram of polyphenolic material. The extract is produced using the seeds of grapes grown in vineyards which are part of the New Zealand Sustainable Vineyard Programme in Marlbourgh. A trial revealed last year showed the potential of the grape seed extract in sports nutrition as a means of reducing the oxidative stress resulting from strenuous exercise. The effect can help athletes' recovery time, the company claims. The small study tested the Vinanza Gold grape seed extract on eleven male rowers. The study, performed by Tim Lowe from HortResearch, claimed to demonstrate the pre-exercise benefits of supplementation with the grape seed extract, as well as the reduced levels of protein carbonyls obtained after one hour after the exercise.

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