Researchers from the Nutrition and Bromatology Group led by the Professor Dr. Jesús Simal Gándara at UVigo are evaluating by-products from olive oil, wine, and nut production to transform them into natural and healthy ingredients for nutraceutical, cosmetic and food applications in the context of the UP4health project.

By-products generated during extraction of olive oil, wine making, and nuts processing constitute a sustainable natural source of bioactive compounds. Olea europaea L. (common Olive) is a source of antioxidants, minerals, and polyunsaturated fatty acids with recognized benefits for human health. Parallelly, the residues generated by the grape industry (Vitis vinifera L.) are recognized as valuable source of bioactive compounds, with interesting health-promoting properties, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anticancer. Furthermore, almond-by products constitute a nutritious food with high lipid content that provide a wide range of bioactive compounds beneficial to society.

In the pictures, Dr. Paz Otero, and Franklin Chamorro from UVigo are performing a nutritional characterization of several olive, grape and almond wastes, including olive and grape seeds, olive leaves, almond shell, etc to figure out the content of polyphenols and omega-3 fatty acids. Moreover, Dr. Miguel A. Prieto is analyzing and optimizing data in the computer. All together are performing the analysis of phenolics and lipids at the department of Analytical Chemistry and Food Science using chemical methods like liquid and gas chromatography (HPLC and GC).

The main screened by-products are the olive leaves, olive cake, olive water, olive seed fiber and olive pulp fiber, grape seeds and almond shells. UVigo are analyzing samples delivered over 10 months in different shipping from the young biotechnological SME Isanatur. The company facilitate access to natural and healthy food ingredients from production process located in Spain exploiting the full potential of the Mediterranean diet and raw materials.

So far, UVIGO have confirmed that fibers from both olive pulp and olive seeds contain large quantities of antioxidants like dihydroxybenzoic acid, hydroxytyrosol and oleacein.

The results of fatty acid analysis showed good nutritional profile in those matrices, especially in the olive seeds. Some analyses are in progress, expecting satisfactory results for the development of sustainable agri-food processes to recycle olive, grape and almond by-products into natural and healthy ingredients for nutraceutical, cosmetic and food applications.

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