Scientific Breakthroughs to Fruit and Vegetable By-Product Valorization in Food Sector

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Security and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 March 2023) | Viewed by 13161

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural Sciences, Food & Environment, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy
Interests: food packaging; food processing and preservation; shelf life extension; functional food; sanitizing techniques; byproduct valorization
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural Sciences, Food and Environment, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy
Interests: packaging; food preservation; sanitizing techniques; active compounds in the process and active packaging systems; functional food; byproduct valorization
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The food industry annually produces tons of by-products during food processing. Globally, researchers estimate that, in food supply chains, the percentages of food loss in the production, post-harvest and consumption stages are between 24% and 35%. Apart from reducing losses and waste at all levels of the food chain, rather than throwing away waste products, it is possible to recycle them. Hence, both economic and environmental impacts may be limited. The most abundant waste is represented by fruit and vegetable by-products, which can occur during pre- and post-harvesting processes, preparation and processing. Industrial fruit and vegetable by-products are very different from one another because of the difference in raw materials and industrial processes. These by-products occur as leaves, peels, seeds, pulps and mixes of these. However, they are all rich in valuable bioactive compounds, such as simple sugars, carbohydrates, polysaccharides, pectin and fibers. They also have bioactive molecules such as phytochemicals, antioxidants, antimicrobials, phenolics, flavonoids and/or carotenoids. Over time, thanks to the growing awareness about the great potential of their active compounds, they have been employed in several industrial fields (cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food). As regards the food industry, the goal is to re-introduce by-products to the production line as raw materials in order to obtain new functional products with high health benefits, through sustainable technology able to extract nutritional components. Only recently has the concept of exploiting the antioxidant and antimicrobial capacity of fruit and vegetable by-products, with the aim of extending food shelf life, been spreading more and more. In fact, synthetic additives are typically used to prolong food shelf life, but consumers are more and more concerned about the health risks involved in their application. Hence, the use of by-products could alleviate this consumer concern.

Therefore, the current Special Issue is aimed at collecting original articles and reviews dealing with the usage of fruit and vegetable processing by-products to spread light on why a world, more and more quickly projected toward progress, seems to be refractory to this type of innovation. In particular, the research topics will cover the use of by-products as ingredients in different types of foods to enhance the nutritional quality; the use of by-products as ingredients to prolong food shelf life; and the use of by-products to develop active edible films and coatings with improved final properties.

Prof. Dr. Amalia Conte
Prof. Dr. Matteo Del Nobile
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • food sustainability
  • fruit and vegetable by-products
  • natural active compounds
  • by-products for food fortification
  • by-products for shelf life extension
  • by-products for packaging performance

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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4 pages, 197 KiB  
Editorial
Introduction to the Special Issue “Scientific Breakthroughs to Fruit and Vegetable By-Product Valorization in the Food Sector”
by Amalia Conte and Matteo A. Del Nobile
Foods 2023, 12(14), 2726; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12142726 - 17 Jul 2023
Viewed by 784
Abstract
We are pleased to present this Special Issue, which includes five papers that highlight important research activities in the field of fruit and vegetable by-product valorization [...] Full article

Research

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12 pages, 1350 KiB  
Article
In-Depth Chemical Characterization of Punica granatum L. Seed Oil
by Francesco Cairone, Chiara Salvitti, Antonia Iazzetti, Giancarlo Fabrizi, Anna Troiani, Federico Pepi and Stefania Cesa
Foods 2023, 12(8), 1592; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12081592 - 09 Apr 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1224
Abstract
Fruit seeds belonging to the pomegranate cultivar “Granata” were subjected to extraction and oily component analysis, with the aim of obtaining information about their composition. The presence of conjugated isomers of linolenic acid (CLNA isomers) in the oily phase extracted from the seeds [...] Read more.
Fruit seeds belonging to the pomegranate cultivar “Granata” were subjected to extraction and oily component analysis, with the aim of obtaining information about their composition. The presence of conjugated isomers of linolenic acid (CLNA isomers) in the oily phase extracted from the seeds gives a high added value to this part of the fruit, which is too often considered and treated as waste. The separated seeds were subjected to a classic Soxhlet extraction with n-hexane or extraction with supercritical CO2, assisted by ethanol. The resulting oils were evaluated by 1H and 13C-NMR and AP-MALDI-MS techniques. Differences in the triacylglycerols composition, with particular regard to punicic acid and other CLNA content, were studied in depth. Results showed the prevalence of punicic acid in the triacylglycerol mixture up to the 75%, with clear preponderance in the extract by supercritical fluids. Consequently, other CLNA isomers are, altogether, two-fold less represented in the supercritical extract than in the Soxhlet one. The two oily residues were subjected to solid phase extraction (SPE) and to HPLC-DAD analysis for the polyphenolic isolation and characterization. In addition to HPLC analysis, which showed different content and composition, DPPH analysis to evaluate the antiradical potential showed that the extract obtained with supercritical CO2 was much more active. Full article
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21 pages, 12585 KiB  
Article
Waste Orange Peels as a Source of Cellulose Nanocrystals and Their Use for the Development of Nanocomposite Films
by Francesco Bigi, Enrico Maurizzi, Hossein Haghighi, Heinz Wilhelm Siesler, Fabio Licciardello and Andrea Pulvirenti
Foods 2023, 12(5), 960; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12050960 - 24 Feb 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4087 | Correction
Abstract
To date, approximately 30–50% of food is wasted from post-harvesting to consumer usage. Typical examples of food by-products are fruit peels and pomace, seeds, and others. A large part of these matrices is still discarded in landfills, while a small portion is valorized [...] Read more.
To date, approximately 30–50% of food is wasted from post-harvesting to consumer usage. Typical examples of food by-products are fruit peels and pomace, seeds, and others. A large part of these matrices is still discarded in landfills, while a small portion is valorized for bioprocessing. In this context, a feasible strategy to valorize food by-products consists of their use for the production of bioactive compounds and nanofillers, which can be further used to functionalize biobased packaging materials. The focus of this research was to create an efficient methodology for the extraction of cellulose from leftover orange peel after juice processing and for its conversion into cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) for use in bionanocomposite films for packaging materials. Orange CNCs were characterized by TEM and XRD analyses and added as reinforcing agents into chitosan/hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (CS/HPMC) films enriched with lauroyl arginate ethyl (LAE®). It was evaluated how CNCs and LAE® affected the technical and functional characteristics of CS/HPMC films. CNCs revealed needle-like shapes with an aspect ratio of 12.5, and average length and width of 500 nm and 40 nm, respectively. Scanning electron microscopy and infrared spectroscopy confirmed the high compatibility of the CS/HPMC blend with CNCs and LAE®. The inclusion of CNCs increased the films’ tensile strength, light barrier, and water vapor barrier properties while reducing their water solubility. The addition of LAE® improved the films’ flexibility and gave them biocidal efficacy against the main bacterial pathogens that cause foodborne illness, such as Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella enterica. Full article
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11 pages, 1658 KiB  
Article
Cassava Starch Films with Anthocyanins and Betalains from Agroindustrial by-Products: Their Use for Intelligent Label Development
by Carlos M. Otálora González, Laura I. Schelegueda, Víctor M. Pizones Ruiz-Henestrosa, Carmen A. Campos, María F. Basanta and Lía N. Gerschenson
Foods 2022, 11(21), 3361; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11213361 - 26 Oct 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2059
Abstract
The development of biodegradable packaging materials has become a widely addressed topic in recent years. Microparticles generated from Brassica oleracea var. capitata f. rubra (red cabbage, RC) and Beta vulgaris L. var. conditiva (beetroot, BR) which contained anthocyanins or betalains, were included in [...] Read more.
The development of biodegradable packaging materials has become a widely addressed topic in recent years. Microparticles generated from Brassica oleracea var. capitata f. rubra (red cabbage, RC) and Beta vulgaris L. var. conditiva (beetroot, BR) which contained anthocyanins or betalains, were included in the formulation of edible films based on cassava starch (CS) giving origin to films CSRC, CSBR, or CSBC (mixture of both particles). The inclusion of the filler determined an increase in the stress at rupture from 0.8 MPa (CS) to 1.2 MPa (CSRC) or 1.0 MPa (CSBC), of the contact angle from 2.6° to 13.8° (CSBR) or 19.6° (CSBC). The use of these films for developing a smart label for hake packaging and the study of the TBV-N content, the microbiological characteristics of the muscle, and the color changes of the label with time, allowed us to conclude that the films CSRC and CSBC would be suitable for sensing the deterioration of packaged and chilled hake and that the color change of the label CSBC was completely consistent with fish muscle deterioration. As the microparticles can be obtained from by-products of the production and industrialization of plant tissues, the composite films and the smart labels developed can contribute not only to the development of safe food but also to the addition of value to those residues and to environmental protection. Full article
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13 pages, 1454 KiB  
Article
Quality Preservation of Ready-to-Eat Prickly Pears by Peels Recycling
by Olimpia Panza, Valentina Lacivita, Amalia Conte and Matteo Alessandro Del Nobile
Foods 2022, 11(14), 2016; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11142016 - 07 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1609
Abstract
In the current study, prickly pear peel was advantageously recycled to preserve fruit quality. Specifically, the investigated by-products were transformed into powder and then loaded into an alginate-based solution to be applied as coating to peeled prickly pears, to give an example of [...] Read more.
In the current study, prickly pear peel was advantageously recycled to preserve fruit quality. Specifically, the investigated by-products were transformed into powder and then loaded into an alginate-based solution to be applied as coating to peeled prickly pears, to give an example of sustainable minimally processed fruit. For comparison, uncoated fruit, and coated prickly pears without any powder were also prepared. During storage at refrigerated temperature, coated and uncoated samples were tested for weight loss, microbial and fungal proliferation, as well as for sensory quality acceptance. The results were interesting because great differences were found between coated and uncoated fruit, in that coating the fruit delayed weight loss and spoilage, compared to uncoated fruit. Between the simple coating and the coating with peel powder, slight differences were recorded in favor of the peel-enriched coating. In fact, it allowed the promotion of better fruit preservation, and sensory quality. Therefore, prickly pear peels, that represent abundant by-products during prickly pear processing, could be advantageously recycled to preserve fruit quality. Full article
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14 pages, 2416 KiB  
Article
Zero-Waste Approach Applied to Pomegranates for Prolonging Fish Burger Shelf Life
by Olimpia Panza, Amalia Conte and Matteo Alessandro Del Nobile
Foods 2022, 11(4), 551; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11040551 - 15 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1756
Abstract
In this study, the possibility of using whole pomegranate (juice, peel and seeds) according to the zero-waste approach, to prolong fresh fish shelf life, was evaluated. A preliminary antimicrobial in vitro test was carried out with peel and seeds as ground and re-ground [...] Read more.
In this study, the possibility of using whole pomegranate (juice, peel and seeds) according to the zero-waste approach, to prolong fresh fish shelf life, was evaluated. A preliminary antimicrobial in vitro test was carried out with peel and seeds as ground and re-ground powders. Then, the entire fruit, in the right proportions of juice and relative by-products as ground or re-ground powders, was added to fresh fish burger formulation to extend its shelf life. To this aim, a shelf-life test was performed on fortified fish products stored at 4 °C. Control samples were also tested for comparison. Specifically, the pH and microbiological and sensory quality of all the fish burgers were monitored during refrigerated storage for about 1 month. The results from the in vitro test clearly indicate that the peel is abundantly more effective than seeds on selected spoilage bacteria and that the ground peel powder is slightly more antimicrobial than the same re-ground powder. Results from the shelf-life test assessed that the control sample became unacceptable within a few days (about 3 days), while the samples with pomegranate juice and by-products maintained microbial stability for a longer time (2 or 3 weeks) (p < 0.05). The main microbiological problems are the proliferations of mesophilic and psychrotrophic bacteria, Pseudomonas spp. and Shewanella. The addition of pomegranate to the formulation allowed the fish spoilage to be controlled by at least 2 or 3 log cycles. In agreement with findings from the in vitro test, the best results from the microbiological point of view were found in fish burgers with juice, peel and seed ground powders. Furthermore, the addition of pomegranate was also appreciated from the sensorial point of view. In fact, products with pomegranate were prized for about 3 weeks for color, odor, appearance and texture of both raw and cooked products. Therefore, the current study reveals that the incorporation of the entire pomegranate, added in all parts according to the zero-waste concept, could promote a significant shelf-life extension of fish burgers, mainly due to the bioactive compounds present in fruit by-products, without changing the sensory quality. Full article
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Other

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1 pages, 159 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Bigi et al. Waste Orange Peels as a Source of Cellulose Nanocrystals and Their Use for the Development of Nanocomposite Films. Foods 2023, 12, 960
by Francesco Bigi, Enrico Maurizzi, Hossein Haghighi, Heinz Wilhelm Siesler, Fabio Licciardello and Andrea Pulvirenti
Foods 2023, 12(9), 1902; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12091902 - 06 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 609
Abstract
In the original publication [...] Full article
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