How to use agro-industrial waste?

The BIOWAYS project is carrying out a series of videos called  60” Science.
In each video an expert/researcher  will explain a bio-based product or the results of his research.

Video #3 – Agro industrial waste

Gianluca Maffei from University of Rome La Sapienza presented several agro industrial waste applications.

At the Department of Chemical Engineering Materials & Environment the agro industrial waste are studied in many ways.

Functional foods and natural health products represent a great value-added growth opportunity for the Italian agri-food sector. Consumers, in fact, are increasingly interested in the health benefits of foods and have begun to look beyond their basic nutritional benefits. Our research group explored the feasibility of fortifying common foodstuffs with health-promoting compounds (such as Lycopene-enriched tomato seed oil; Lutein-, polyphenol- and lycopene-enriched minidrinks; Polyphenol-enriched honeys), evaluating their stability and shelf-life.

Very interesting is the Lycopene extraction from tomato peels, tomatoes contain a wide variety of antioxidants including vitamin E, ascorbic acid, phenolics, flavonoids and carotenoids. Among them, lycopene, responsible for the deep red color of ripe tomatoes, has attracted considerable attention for its possible role in some disease prevention.

Their research is focused on the feasibility of using agro-industrial waste largely available in Italy, such as bilberry wastes and spent coffee grounds, as a raw material for the green synthesis of silver NPs. These materials are usually disposed of as solid waste.

These are just some of the applications that the department of Chemical Engineering Materials & Environment are dealing with.


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