Agro-industry seed ‘waste’ is promising source of oils and ingredients

By Nathan Gray contact

- Last updated on GMT

Seeds and other agricultural waste products could provide the food industry with an alternative source of oils and bioactive ingredients, say Brazilian researchers.
Seeds and other agricultural waste products could provide the food industry with an alternative source of oils and bioactive ingredients, say Brazilian researchers.

Related tags: Nutrition, Fat

Agricultural and agro-industry waste could serve as an important alternative source of vegetable oils and bioactive ingredients for functional foods, according to new research.

The study, published in Food Research International​, evaluated the quality of oils and analysed for the presence of bioactive compounds in seeds originating from agro-industrial waste – finding that waste products from such industries could provide a new alternative source of oils and value-added ingredients for the food and nutrition industries.

Led by Ana Carolina da Silva from São Paulo State University in Brazil, the team analysed the levels of various bioactive compounds – including essential fatty acids and polyphenol content – and oil stability in a variety of oils extracted from seeds obtained as an agro-industry waste product.

“A great volume of waste is generated by Brazilian agroindustry daily​,” wore de Silva and her colleagues. “This waste has high potential, since it contains sugars, vitamins, and mineral nutrients, besides being rich in fibres, oils, and other compounds with functional properties.”

“The results obtained in this study collect information that enables the use of new alternative sources of vegetable oils, obtained from agro-industrial waste, which may serve as raw material for food, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries,”​ they added.

Study details

The team collected samples of waste seeds, including seeds from grape, guava, melon, passion fruit, pumpkin,

soursop, and tomato, before analysing the oils obtained for their content of a variety of bioactive compounds and for oil oxidative stability.

The analysis of bioactives included determinations of fatty acid profile, triacylglycerols, tocopherol composition, phytosterols, phenolic compounds, total carotenoids, and antioxidant capacity.

Oils were found to be predominantly unsaturated - with high percentage of linoleic essential fatty acid (38.8 to 79.4%), said the team who also noted that many oils presented ‘significant quantities’ of tocopherols, phytosterols, and phenolic compounds.

In addition, tomato and guava oils showed better results in the antioxidant capacity tests, while pumpkin oil had higher induction period in the oxidative stability test (65.3 h), revealed da Silva and her colleagues.

“With the results obtained in this study, it is also expected to attract the attention of food processing industries, so that they better direct their waste, avoiding, thus, a growing environmental problem,” ​the Brazilian team concluded.

Source: Food Research International
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2014.10.025
“Bioactive compounds of the lipid fractions of agro-industrial waste”
Authors: Ana Carolina da Silva, Neuza Jorge

Related topics: Research, Omega-3s & Nutritional oils

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