Scientists in Melton create apple snack using fruit waste that 'will revolutionise the food industry
Scientists who have created a tasty and nutritious apple snack using fruit waste say their invention could help revolutionise the food industry.
Experts at Omniceutica, in Asfordby Business Park, near Melton, have spent six months developing a process which transforms pulp from cider making and surplus, ungraded or bruised apples into bite-sized servings.
They believe their invention has huge potential because it could be applied to a wide range of fruit and vegetables, helping the food and drink industry cut down on waste and save money.
Omniceutica's method dries the fruit using low levels of energy and retains much more nutrients than normal systems.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Janet Worrell, development director at the company, said: "It's a big issue for the Government and the food sector that a lot of waste is generated in food production. What we wanted to look at was taking a waste product and turning it into a snack, something that consumers would feel comfortable eating.
"We have been able to prove we can create an appealing, crunchy apple snack from all that waste.
"The skin of an apple has high nutritional value but ordinarily this part of the fruit is either given to pigs as feed or sent to landfill."
The company is now looking to work with food producers and manufacturers to develop the process on a much larger scale and has already teamed up with a local apple producer.
Since it was set up nearly three years ago, the firm, which employs five people, has developed food and pharmaceutical products for itself and other companies such as smoothies, yogurts and sports nutrition drinks.
The apple project was funded by a £10,000 grant from the Food and Drink iNet, an organisation designed to encourage innovation in the East Midlands food and drink sector.
Jane said: "An awful lot of apples, carrots and so on get 'graded out' because they are not six inches long or they are bruised.
"We are interested in these 'ugly' fruits and vegetables – our process makes them perfect and beautiful again."
Jo Murphy, an advisor with the Food and Drink iNet, in Nottingham, said tackling waste and finding alternative uses for by-products in the food and drink sector was a target for the industry.
She said: "The technology will also benefit small and medium-sized enterprises in the East Midlands, such as cider makers and other producers, who could now have a productive outlet for some of their waste products – saving money on disposal costs and creating additional revenue."
The work has also involved experts from the University of Nottingham carrying out initial analysis of the snack's nutrient content.
The Food and Drink iNet is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and run by the Food and Drink Forum.