Waste stream provides functional ingredient for apple producer

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Waste stream provides functional ingredient for apple producer
Waste streams are good place to start looking for functional ingredients, and so it was with a new company called AppleActives, which has developed a joint health ingredient from apple peels, peels which were previously being used as compost or as a low-grade feed additive.

The new organic ingredient, called AppleActive, is produced by parent company Leahy Orchards, which launched it at Supply Side West last week.  Leahy Orchards is the largest organic apple sauce producer in North America, according to president Lorraine Leahy.  The Canadian company sources apples in Quebec, Ontario and New York State. Making that much applesauce means a lot of left-over peels, and the company was looking at a higher-value use than feeding them to cattle or using them as compost.

“It’s well known that apples are healthy, in part because of their polyphenolic content,”​ Leahy told NutraIngredients-USA.  In addition to being a business executive, Leahy is also trained as a nutritionist.

“The polyphenolic compounds are six times concentrated in the peels.  But digesting the peel, if you eat a whole apple, can be quite difficult,”​ she said.

The big advantage in terms of digestibility and therefore bioavailability of drying and then powdering the peels is the huge increase in surface area, Leahy said.  The company has patented the technology around the drying and milling process, she said.

Joint health claims

The company has also invested in science to support a structure function claim around joint health, Leahy said. NIS Labs has completed a 12-week human clinical trial that measured the effect of AppleActiv powder on joint health, range of motion measures, comfort and inflammation management support. Subjects who received AppleActiv vs. a placebo demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in all of the above areas, Leahy said.  The study is currently in peer review prior to publication, according to the company.

The ingredient is also 50% dietary fiber, Leahy said, making it suitable for a wide range of supplement, food and beverage applications.

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