Dietary fibers extracted from Blackcurrant pomace could add functional ingredients to and enhance the fiber content of foods. Processing fruit, vegetables and cereals creates a large amount of agricultural waste in the form of pomace. The wine and juice industries, for example, discard about 15% of grapes and 20% of soft berries as pomace. However, instead of waste, pomace could be used in the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. How? A study carried out by researchers from the University of Huddersfield and University of Nottingham (UK) showed that pomace generated from manufacturing blackcurrants for fruit juice is rich in dietary fiber that could be added to food products (e.g. wheat flour) to increase their nutritional and health benefits. Pomace is generally rich in a carbohydrate fraction that is a source of dietary fibers, functional components and/or bioactive compounds (e.g., polyphenols). Manufacturing blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum) for juice generates several thousand tonnes per annum of pomace that could be used as dietary supplement due to its high content of functional dietary fiber. Dietary fibers are important for a healthy gut and have been linked to many other health benefits such as reducing risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and obesity (Kendall, Esfahani, & Jenkins, 2010; Mann & Cummings, 2009). Therefore, we could increase the nutritional value and enhance the health benefits of several food products simply by incorporating blackcurrant-pomace dietary fibers into grain cereals and food formulations, for example. Functional components are non-conventional biomolecules that occur in food which possess the capacity to modulate one or more metabolic processes or pathways in the body, resulting to health benefits and promotion of well-being (Swanson 2003). Bioactive or phenolic compounds in foods are intensively studied due to their health benefits and their role in preventing cardiovascular diseases. Many phenolic compounds have antioxidant properties, and some studies have demonstrated favorable effects on thrombosis and tumorogenesis and promotion (Kris-Etherton et al. 2002). The nutritional value of dietary fibers depends on the source of those fibers, as well as on their structural and chemical composition. Normally, dietary fiber content varies depending on whether they come from fresh berries or fruit co-products. Nonetheless, Dr. Alba and collaborators showed that processing waste streams generated by the manufacturing of blackcurrant is potentially a great source of both soluble and insoluble dietary fibers that could be used to supplement and/or enhance the fiber content of food products. Dietary Fibers are classified based on their solubility in water into soluble fibre (e.g., pectin and some hemicelluloses) or insoluble fibre (e.g., cellulose or lignin). – Alba et al. 2018. Link to full article click here. *This post was mainly based on the scientific paper by Alba et al. (2018). Fractionation and characterisation of dietary fibre from blackcurrant pomace. Food Hydrocolloids 81 (2018) 398 – 408. Other references/citations Abuajah et al. (2015). Functional components and medicinal properties of food: a review. J Food Sci Technol. 2015 May; 52(5): 2522–2529. DOI: 10.1007/s13197-014-1396-5 Kendall, C. W. C., Esfahani, A., & Jenkins, D. J. A. (2010). The link between dietary fibre and human health. Food Hydrocolloids, 24, 42-48. Mann, J. I., & Cummings, J. H. (2009). Possible implications for health of the different definitions of dietary fibre. Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases, 19, 226-229. Swanson JE (2003). Bioactive food components. Encycl Food Cult, Gale Cengage. http://www.enotes.com/bioactive-food-components-reference/bioactive-food-components. Kris-Etherton et al. (2002). Bioactive compounds in foods: their role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer. The American Journal of Medicine Volume 113, Issue 9, Supplement 2, 30 December 2002, Pages 71-88.