Turning wine waste into valuable products
A collaborative project with Swisse Wellness, the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) and Swinburne University of Technology is working to transform surplus Australian fruit and vegetables streams, such as grape marc (skins and seeds) from the wine industry, into nutraceutical ingredients.
Nick Mann, the Swisse CEO, said that this project will enable Swisse to source premium Australian grape seed extract from the 2020 vintage to go into local and export markets across Asia.
“To make a considered shift to sourcing our ingredients through a process which is aligned with our organisational sustainability principles, and thereby having a positive impact on the environment, is a step in the right direction for Swisse and the supplement industry.
“We are really excited that this ultra-premium grapeseed extract will come from the grape seeds left over from wine production in the growing regions of Yarra Valley and the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsulas,” he said.
Swinburne University is the research partner for this project, with Project Leader Professor Enzo Palombo aiming to use 250 tonnes of Victorian grape marc from this vintage in the production of grape seed extract for Swisse.
“We’ve done laboratory validation, technical feasibility and yield optimisation; therefore, the next stage of commercialisation is establishing a pilot plant capable of producing the required quantity and purity of grape seed extract for Swisse,” he said.
“Together with our industry collaborators, Viridi Innovation and Austeng, we will work towards producing fully traceable Australian grape seed extract for Swisse this season to go into their premium product.”
CEO of the Fight Food Waste CRC Dr Steven Lapidge said that this project has always been the “low-hanging fruit” of industry waste transformation, pun intended; however, it is not a simple project and it will only be delivered through collaboration.
“Through investing in research and development, we will deliver new high-value commercial opportunities for the participants of this project while at the same time fighting food waste in Australia.”
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