Situation: Agritechnology is located in the heart of the cherry growing region of NSW. Unsalable second grade cherries represent about 20-50% of the annual cherry crop.
Cherries have substantiated levels of anthocyanin (an important antioxidant) with nutraceutical properties including for gout, inflammation and muscle repair. Cherries are also a recognised low-GI food and cherry-derived products appeal to the diabetic market in particular.
Agritechnology set out to realise value from the cherry waste stream: extracting nutraceutical compounds and converting waste cherries into food.
Action: The Agritechnology team applied its expertise in food science to develop a controlled enzymatic process to create a juice or homogenate with the following properties:
- Shelf stability
- High yield
- Well-defined organoleptic texture and flavour properties
- High levels of anthocyanin
The team also applied its food science capabilities to extract a functional food from the cherry waste in the form of powder with the following characteristics:
- Strong red colour
- Intense cherry flavour
- Guaranteed high levels of anthocyanin (determined through HPLC analysis)
- Broad application as a powder
Other applications: Agritechnology’s approach to realising value from the cherry waste stream could be applied to other agricultural waste streams such as grapes, apples, olives and other stone fruits.
Agritechnology has a track record in developing functional foods and nutraceuticals with the flavour, colour and antioxidant profile demanded by ingredient distributors and food manufacturers.