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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Healthy Processed Foods Research » Research » Research Project #428789

Research Project: Adding Value to Plant-Based Waste Materials through Development of Novel, Healthy Ingredients and Functional Foods

Location: Healthy Processed Foods Research

2017 Annual Report

The overall goal of this research project is to make food production more sustainable by using food processing technologies to add value to the byproducts generated from the harvest of specialty crops and production of processed foods. We will focus on the following three objectives over the next five years: Objective 1: Increase the commercial value of plant-based, postharvest waste materials, high in dietary fiber and/or polyphenols (grape, berries, tomato, carrot, and olive pomace, olive leaves and water, mushroom byproducts), by reprocessing into healthful food ingredients. 1.1: Screen processing wastes for nutritional properties of the whole pomace, seeds, skins, and the extractable and nonextractable (high fiber) fractions using appropriate animal models. 1.2: Increase value by developing healthful ingredients with improved bioaccessibility to bioactive polyphenols by process treatments such as extrusion, thermal, chemical and enzymatic processing of the whole waste. Objective 2: Enable new, commercial functional foods from high protein–based waste materials (nuts, legumes, rice, fish). 2.1: Analyze nutrient content of processed farm waste (soybean, peanut, rice and salmon) for functional properties and nutritional quality of protein fraction. 2.2: Formulate and test high protein gluten free health promoting products for consumer acceptability. Objective 3: Enable value-added commercial applications of nanofibers from specialty crop waste materials to deliver bioactives in new functional foods. Objective 4: Increase the utilization of post-harvest waste materials by identifying and removing astringent and mineral components that detract from taste, quality, nutritional value and consumer acceptance.

Objective 1: Determine if processed food wastes or their components from regional fruit and vegetable food processing have health promoting properties by using animal models of obesity and related metabolic diseases to evaluate bioactivity. Animal models are necessary since many bioactive compounds are not absorbed directly but are mediated by gut bacteria. Some waste materials may require fractionation, for example seeds from peels, in order to concentrate bioactive components to a useful level. Bioavailability and bioactivity of more bioactive compounds such as polyphenolics and plant sterols may be increased by removing and modifying dietary fibers that block accessibility to enzymes and gut bacteria. Bioactive food wastes such as mushrooms with high vitamin D content will be processed into films or coatings. Objective 2: Develop new healthy and flavorful foods from high protein waste materials. Processing wastes from soybeans, peanuts, rice and salmon will be analyzed for protein composition and food related physico-chemical properties. The waste materials will be formulated into foods to increase protein content and improve protein quality. Waste ingredients are often high in insoluble fibers that reduce functionality and may require fractionation from fiber to improve useful properties. Objective 3: Develop blow spinning technology to efficiently produce natural nanofibers for controlled release applications and evaluate potential pulmonary toxicity effects of nanofibers in mice after intratracheal instillation of nanofibers. Using blow spinning processes nanofibers will be created from food ingredients such as gelatin, chitosan, and fruit and vegetable pomaces (grape, carrot, tomato and olive) in order to eliminate or reduce potential inhalation inflammation or toxicity. Although the nanofibers will be used for encapsulation of bioactive compounds for oral delivery the potential for inhalation during process requires toxicity testing. The ingredients as well as the nanofibers will be evaluated for inflammation and toxicity in a mouse model to determine degree and persistence of inflammation or toxicity if any. Ingredients that are most biocompatible will be used in subsequent studies. Objective 4: Develop strategies to mitigate astringency in post-harvest materials in order to increase their utilization. Tannins and minerals contribute to astringency and the identification and characterization of these components is essential. Total and free mineral contents in waste materials (nut shells, hulls, pits, pomaces, skins and seeds from stone fruits, nuts, and persimmons) will be measured using microwave-induced plasma atomic emission spectrometry following microwave-assisted digestion or leaching. Tannin levels in the same materials will be measured using total soluble phenolic, potassium iodate (hydrolysable tannin), and vanillin (condensed tannin) assays. The metal (Zn, Cu, Fe) and protein binding properties of waste material tannins will be measured and compared to the properties of commercially available tannins.

Progress Report
During FY 2017 we showed that genes for fat and sterol metabolism in the liver and abdominal adipose were related to the beneficial physiological effects of apple and potato skins we observed earlier. Although it is well known that bioactive polyphenols are found in apple and other fruit skins and seeds, we also found high levels of similar polyphenols in potato skins, particularly red and gold potatoes. Weight reductions in potato skin fed mice were primarily in abdominal adipose. This is important because inflammation is believed to be a cause of chronic disease and abdominal adipose contains cells, fat cells and macrophages that produce the inflammatory agents related to disease. Continuing our research on whole grape seed powders, and in order to discover whether whole grape seed powders are a safe ingredient, we conducted a safety study. We showed that even at high intake levels, grape seed powder did not significantly change body weight, blood chemistry, or histology of organs compared to rats on a standard rat chow diet. Waste byproducts of agricultural product processing high in protein were incorporated into snacks and other foods and shown to increase protein content and remain sensory acceptable. Persimmon, an underutilized fruit crop high in antioxidants, was processed into microbiologically stable chips that were used for the development of food products. A new Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) was entered into to look at value-added food applications for brewers spent grains. Research was completed on processing of the brewers spent grains to ensure safety and increase stability in support of commercialization of this new healthy food ingredient. Snack foods are often low in protein. The composition of gluten-free whole grains, buckwheat, quinoa, peanut meal, kale and beets and prepared snacks were determined. The sensory properties of whole grain gluten-free buckwheat, peanut meal and kale snacks were found to be satisfactory to consumers. In another study the sensory properties of quinoa, peanut meal, and beet snacks were evaluated. Research on astringency of persimmons was completed and effects of different varieties and postharvest drying on persimmon quality were studied. Bioactive food wastes from mushrooms with high vitamin D content were processed into coatings for fruit bars and cantaloupe. A large Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund grant helped support this research. Blow spinning technology was used to efficiently produce natural nanofibers for controlled release applications from gelatin and corn zein. Natural antimicrobials were incorporated into these nanofibers and controlled release properties were studied.

1. Potato skins decrease abdominal fat in mice on high fat diets. Large amounts of potato skin wastes are produced as a byproduct of French fried potato processing. Potatoes, unlike fruits and green vegetables, are not usually associated with antioxidants and healthful nutrition. ARS researchers in Albany, California, found that potato skins contain the same polyphenolic antioxidants as apples and grapes. Potato skins fed to mice on high fat diets reduced abdominal adipose weight gain. These results could help develop new, healthy foods to reduce obesity in humans.

2. Whole grape seed flour is a safe food ingredient. Large amounts of wine grape pomace are produced as byproducts of wine production. Researchers in Albany, California, showed that wine grape byproducts prevent chronic metabolic disease in animals but in order to confidently recommend it for human consumption a safety study was required. Rats fed a diet containing high levels, 20% or 40% by weight, grape seed powder had similar weight changes, blood chemistry and organ histology as rats on a standard diet. This supports the conclusion that whole grape seed flour is safe as a food ingredient.

3. Putting persimmons on the map. The Asian persimmon has potential as the next American “superfruit”, but persimmons are virtually unknown to U.S. consumers. An interdisciplinary team of ARS researchers in Albany, California and Davis, California developed dried persimmon chip recipes that can be used by growers and consumers. Sensory, texture, and nutritional properties of fresh and dried fruits, including carbohydrate, organic acid, vitamin C, anti-oxidant, carotenoid, and tannin contents, were characterized for more than 50 persimmon cultivars. The results of this work will inform persimmon growers about which cultivars to propagate and dry into shelf-stable products and will give U.S. consumers wider access to and knowledge about this up-and-coming fruit.

4. Waste to worth: active food coating from byproducts of mushroom industry. Researchers in Albany, California, in collaboration with researchers in Israel, developed for the first time vitamin D-fortified chitosan films and coatings from mushroom waste. Chitosan is a chemical compound that provides structure in mushrooms. Mushroom stalk waste was used for making nutritionally fortified edible films and coatings. These films and coatings could be applied on or around foods to improve the nutrition and quality of the food, as well as to extend shelf-life. This is a new, value-added use for mushroom waste.

5. Blow spun nanofibers from fish gelatin and zein improve food safety. Food grade gelatin and corn zein nanofibers were produced for the first time using solution blow spinning by ARS researchers in Albany, California. Active natural antimicrobial compounds, carvacrol and cinnamaldehyde, were incorporated into the nanofibers and evaluated for their activity against three pathogens - E. coli O157:H7, S. enterica, and L. monocytogenes. All nanofibers showed antibacterial activity. Results may be used for medical and food applications to improve wound healing and food safety.

Review Publications
Kahlon, T.S., Avena-Bustillos, R.D., Chiu, M.M. 2016. Sensory evaluation of gluten-free quinoa whole grain snacks. Heliyon. 2(12):1-11. doi: 10/1016/j/heliyon.2016.e00213.
Liang, R., Jiang, Y., Yokoyama, W.H., Yang, C., Cao, G., Zhong, F. 2016. Preparation of stable Pickering emulsions with short, medium and long chain fats and starch nanocrystals and their in vitro digestion properties. RSC Advances. 6:99496-99504. doi: 10.1039/C6RA18468E.
Dura, A., Yokoyama, W.H., Rosell, C. 2016. Glycemic response to corn starch modified with cyclodextrin glycosyltransferase and its relationship to physical properties. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition. 71(3):252-258. doi: 10.1007/s11130-016-0553-6.
Li, Y., Yokoyama, W.H., Wu, J., Ma, J., Zhong, F. 2015. Properties of edible films based on pullulan-chitosan blended film-forming solutions at different pH. RSC Advances. 5:105844-105850. doi: 10.1039/C5RA21876D.
Cherubin, P., Quinones, B., Elkahoui, S., Yokoyama, W.H., Teter, K. 2017. A cell-based fluorescent assay to detect the activity of AB toxins that inhibit protein synthesis. Methods in Molecular Biology. 1600:25-26. doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-6958-6_3.
Jiang, X., Huang, H., Xiao, Z., Yu, L., Pham, Q., Yokoyama, W.H., Yu, L., Luo, Y., Wang, T.T. 2016. Red cabbage microgreens lower circulating LDL, liver cholesterol and inflammatory cytokines in mice fed a high fat diet. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 64(48):9161-9171.
Bartley, G.E., Avena-Bustillos, R.D., Du, W., Hidalgo, M., Cain, B.R., Breksa III, A.P. 2016. Transcriptional regulation of chlorogenic acid biosynthesis in carrot root slices exposed to UV-B light. Journal Plant Gene. 7:1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.plgene.2016.07.001.
Chiou, B., Valenzuela-Medina, D., Bilbao-Sainz, C., Klamczynski, A., Avena-Bustillos, R.D., Milczarek, R.R., Du, W., Glenn, G.M., Orts, W.J. 2016. Torrefaction of almond shells: Effects of torrefaction conditions on properties of solid and condensate products. Industrial Crops and Products. 86:40-48.
Bilbao-Sainz, C., Chiou, B., Williams, T.G., Wood, D.F., Du, W., Sedej, I., Ban, Z., Rodov, V., Poverenov, E., Vinokur, Y., McHugh, T.H. 2017. Vitamin D-fortified chitosan films from mushroom waste. Carbohydrate Polymers. 167(2017):97-104. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2017.03.010.
Dura, A., Yokoyama, W.H., Rosell, C. 2017. Effects of cyclodextrin glycosiltransferase modified starch and cyclodextrins on plasma glucose and lipids metabolism in mice. Journal of Drug Design and Research. 4(5):1051.
Yi, J., Fan, Y., Zhang, Y., Yokoyama, W.H. 2017. ß-Lactoglobulin-chlorogenic acid conjugate-based nanoparticle for delivery of (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate. RSC Advances. 7:21366-21374.
Liu, F., Avena-Bustillos, R.D., Woods, R., Chiou, B., Williams, T.G., Wood, D.F., Bilbao-Sainz, C., Yokoyama, W.H., Glenn, G.M., McHugh, T.H., Zhong, F. 2016. Preparation of zein fibers using solution blow spinning method. Journal of Food Science. 81(12):N3015-N3025. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.13537.
Liu, F., Avena-Bustillos, R.D., Bilbao-Sainz, C., Woods, R., Chiou, B., Wood, D.F., Williams, T.G., Yokoyama, W.H., Glenn, G.M., McHugh, T.H., Zhong, F. 2017. Solution blow spinning of food-grade gelatin nanofibers. Journal of Food Science. 82(6):1402-1411. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.13710.