Wine by-product pomace might be nutritional goldmine

Thursday, 21 October, 2021

Wine by-product pomace might be nutritional goldmine

The war over whether or not a daily glass of wine is healthy may continue to be waged forevermore — but what if you didn’t even need to drink wine to benefit from its nutrients?

Pomace, the mashed-up mess of pulp from grapes, left behind after the early stages of winemaking, is generally considered to be by-product waste with limited use as a fertiliser (and in particular kinds of brandy in some parts of the world). Now food researchers have discovered that this viticultural slush might be a source of valuable nutrition that could be used in a multitude of healthy ways.

Researchers at Cornell University showed that two stilbenes, beneficial molecular compounds in plants that are similar to antioxidants and are found in pomace, could have a positive effect on the human gut. While more research will need to be pursued in order to assess the viability of pomace’s applications, there is potential to extract its healthy chemicals or even use the pomace itself as a useful food additive.

In order to test this, the scientists supplied the two stilbenes, resveratrol and pterostilbene, to a developing chicken embryo. The findings showed that the embryo benefited from the introduction of these chemicals.

With more research hopefully on the horizon, the researchers are looking to see if chemicals derived from pomace can be used to help reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease or diabetes in a sustainable way. Providing health benefits while using the usually discarded pomace could thus see winemakers and grape-growers able to provide a nutritious service in a natural way without waste.

The full paper, published in Nutrients, can be read here.

Image credit: © PRODUCTION

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