Israeli Researchers Turn Unwanted Apples Into ‘Superfood’

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February 14, 2018

Israeli scientists have found a way to repurpose unwanted and damaged apples that would otherwise go to waste into a “superfood powder” aimed at being a healthier alternative to sugar and a nutritional supplement.

Professor Raffi Stern, from MIGAL, who has a PhD in Horticulture from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Dr. Ofir Benjamin from Tel Chai Academic College, embarked on an mission in an effort to find a solution to the huge amounts of apples that are discarded every year in Israel for not meeting market standards, whether due to appearance, or falling to the ground before ripening.

The waste is estimated at some 15,000 metric tons, or about 10 percent of the country’s annual yield, which amounts to over NIS 25 million in lost income every year. The aim of their research was to see what they could do with the enormous quantities of apples that the industry discards every year.

Prof. Stern and Dr.Benjamin produced a powder from second- and third-rate apples that is freeze-dried and to which small amounts of milk powder is added to prevent crystallization. The powder has 600mg of vitamin C per 100 grams, has no food coloring or preservatives, and is rich in antioxidants and nutritional fiber. It is intended as a healthy sweetener for soft drinks and a supplement.

“The powder can be integrated into many food products and enrich their nutritional values, give them a refreshing apple flavor and turn them into a superfood,” Dr. Benjamin told TPS.

“We went to Bereshit, one of the major apple producers in the country, and took samples of different kind of apples: second and third grade as well as apples designated for grocery shops and we found there is no difference between the powder produced with first choice apples and second and third grade apples,” he added.

With the new discovery, he said, “now apple growers will be able to take advantage of fruit that otherwise would have gone to waste.”

Read source article:
Looking For Love: Israeli Researchers Turn Unwanted Apples Into ‘Superfood’

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