Turning Apple Waste into a Superfood

Through Advanced Technology, Food-Tech, Researchers Have Succeeded in Turning Apple Waste into a Superfood

Turning Apple Waste into a Superfood (Enlarge)


Each year, more than 150 thousand tons of apples are picked in Israel, but 10% of the crop is considered waste, due to appearance, size, dents and damage as a result of falling prematurely from orchard trees. This causes huge economic damage of 25 million shekels a year, and this is after these defective-looking apples are marketed to wholesalers or to the juice industry, at a seriously low prices that are not economical for the farmers.

New research, currently being conducted by Dr. Ofir Benjamin from the Food Science department at Tel-Hai College and Professor Rafi Stern, an R & D researcher in the North, at the MIGAL Research Institute of the Galilee Development Corporation, has found that it is possible to use this waste to create high-quality “apple powder” with surprising nutritional advantages putting it in the category of “superfood” products.

The apples go through a long process that includes grinding, drying through two different processes (oven or freeze-dried) and vacuum storage. In the research process, comparisons were made among a number of different kinds of “apple flour” taken from five different kinds of granny smith apple waste: grade A – with no damage, intended for stores; grade B – with minimal damage (marks), intended for markets; grade C – with mechanical damage and sun spots, intended for animal feed; grade D – with much damage and marks, intended for companies that use it for processed food; and grade E – apples that fell in the orchard and did not reach the sorting stage in the packing house, but which are still edible.

Examination of the different grades of apples was intended to map levels of waste that are usable for creating the powdered superfood with high nutritional quality, through comparison among five apple powders in different quality categories and examination of the drying process. It was found that there is no difference between powder that is created from high quality apples (grade A) and powder created from waste apples. In addition, it was found that the technology of freeze drying is preferable to heat drying technologies because it better preserves the natural nutritional value of the fruit. According to the research findings, “apple flour” from apple waste has a great deal of nutritional value, identical to powder made from grade A apples!

The powder made from waste apples has 600 ml of vitamin C, three times the amount found in a guava, which is considered to have record high levels of vitamin C, and ten times more vitamin C than orange juice! In addition, the powder has a high quantity of 25% nutritional fiber and high anti-oxidant properties.

According to Dr. Ofir Benjamin: “The powder made from apple waste – “apple flour” – has many advantages: the product has no preservatives, no food coloring and its composition is 100% from natural ingredients. The apple powder has high levels of vitamin C, anti-oxidants and nutritional fiber, higher than the quantities in fruits that are considered the most healthy. The powder did not show any nutritional inferiority in comparison to the powder from the control group of apples (grade A).

This is important news for farmers, who will soon be able to take advantage of fruit that today goes to waste and from which they gain no economic profit. The powder, which is created through advanced freeze-drying technology (Food-Tech), can integrate into many different foods and enrich their nutritional value, providing them with the refreshing taste and smell of apples and turning them into superfoods.” 


For the digital issue focusing on Food Tech, for the World Food Day 2018