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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Citrus and Other Subtropical Products Research » Research » Research Project #437161

Research Project: Advancing Value-Adding Technologies for Juice Processing Co-Products

Location: Citrus and Other Subtropical Products Research

Project Number: 6034-41000-018-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Jul 7, 2020
End Date: Jul 6, 2025

Objective:
Objective 1: Enable the commercial use of steam explosion fibers from citrus fruit peel for food applications. Objective 2: Resolve unknown microbial modifications of steam exploded citrus peel flavonoids for conversion into high-value byproducts. Objective 3: Conduct a novel immunologically-based assessment of citrus pectin for use in raw and processed foods, and industrial products.

Approach:
One of the greatest opportunities for reducing waste in the processing of agricultural commodities is the conversion of these materials to high value co-products. At an average proportion of 45% of fresh citrus fruit weight the amount of the fruit biomass (peel) that is directed towards low value side streams is currently (2018-2019) 9.55 · 106 metric tons worldwide and 1.51 · 106 metric tons domestically. The domestic side stream from juice production would contain 1.33 · 105 metric tons of gluten-free fiber, 3.5 · 105 metric tons of pectic hydrocolloids and 6.8 · 104 metric tons of phenolics and flavonoids. We will enable a technology for isolating a gluten free fiber from citrus juice processing side streams that can be used to impart beneficial properties to food when used as an ingredient including improved nutritional value and water retention without negatively impacting color and flavor. Also, we will enable a technology for microbial modifications of the flavonoids in the water washes of steam exploded citrus juice processing side streams (i.e. peel) so that new higher value compounds will be recovered. This will enhance the value of the flavonoids that are already commercialized. But the steam explosion methods will allow easier and more complete recoveries of these flavonoids than currently available. Newly produced compounds will serve as starting points for further products, as well as for further product development. Anticipated products relate to creating a process to convert food waste (fruit peels, pulp, and pomace) into value-added healthful bioactive ingredients. Finally, we will enable a rapid immunological based method to define, measure, and preserve/enhance/reduce factors that impact quality and marketability of the structural/functional properties of pectin. Anticipated products relate to creating a novel methodology to enhance or predict the quality and utilization of agricultural products providing information to assess product quality and to detect factors that diminish quality.