The wine and juice industries generate waste consisting of grape skins and seeds that normally have no set destination. Often this waste is returned to the field to be used as fertilizer or is simply discarded.
In an attempt to add value to the grape residue, researchers from the University of São Paulo, Brazil, studied a natural and sustainable alternative for handling this waste.
The study, published in the International Journal of Food Science & Technology, was led by Dr. Carmen J. Contreras-Castillo and student Ligianne Din Shirahigue, who defended her master’s degree with the results of this study.
“The compounds present in grape waste, skins and seeds, showed high antioxidant activity,” Shirahigue said. “These compounds may slow the process of lipid oxidation in meats with significant amounts of unsaturated fat, such as certain cuts like chicken thighs and drumsticks.”
In the food industry, preservatives are added to chicken meat, which is largely exported abroad from Brazil.
“Most of the preservatives used are synthetic, and some research of other researchers indicate that they may damage human health long-term,” said Shirahigue.
This study confirmed that the grape extract may preserve cooked chicken meat as well as the synthetic preservative BHT (butylhydroxytoluene) does.