Cherry Juice and Nutraceuticals

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.