A Second Life for Winery Waste Side-Stream

A Second Life for Winery Waste Side-Stream

Grape Skins A study found that pomace—the grape skins, stems and seeds left behind after winemaking—contains compounds that could be used in health supplements.

Because pomace can account for up to 30 percent of a grape's total weight, its disposal poses some environmental concerns, in particular the production of methane gases. 

In the quest for more sustainable farming and winemaking practices, vintners and scientists are exploring innovative uses for grape pomace, or marc, a byproduct often overlooked in the wine production process. Despite accounting for thousands of tons of waste annually, grape pomace has shown promise in various alternative applications, from grape seed oil to biofuel to beauty products.

Now, a recent study has unveiled a new potential use for Chardonnay wine byproduct: as a health supplement.

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have discovered that Chardonnay grape pomace contains significant amounts of oligosaccharides, a type of carbohydrate found in both plant and human tissues. 

Oligosaccharides play several important roles in the human body:

  1. Prebiotic Effects: Oligosaccharides are considered prebiotics, meaning they serve as food for beneficial bacteria in the gut. By promoting the growth of these beneficial bacteria, oligosaccharides help maintain a healthy balance of gut microbiota, which is essential for digestion, immune function, and overall health.

  2. Immune Support: Oligosaccharides have been shown to stimulate the immune system and enhance immune responses. They can help the body defend against pathogens and infections, as well as reduce inflammation.

  3. Digestive Health: Oligosaccharides can improve digestive health by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria that help break down food and absorb nutrients. They can also help prevent constipation by increasing stool bulk and promoting regular bowel movements.

  4. Nutrient Absorption: Oligosaccharides can improve the absorption of certain nutrients, such as calcium and magnesium, by enhancing the function of the gut lining.

  5. Blood Sugar Regulation: Some oligosaccharides, such as fructooligosaccharides (FOS), may help regulate blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of sugars in the intestine.

Overall, oligosaccharides play a crucial role in maintaining gut health, supporting the immune system, and promoting overall well-being.

Recent research has revealed that plant-based natural products (PBNP) diversity within Chardonnay marc has potential relevance to human health and desirable sensory attributes in food and beverage products. This review explores the potential of Chardonnay marc as a valuable new PBNP ingredient in the food system by combining health, sensory, and environmental sustainability benefits that serves as a model for development of future ingredients within a sustainable circular bioeconomy.

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