The concentrations of phenolics and other phytochemicals present in the peels, pulp/pomace and seeds of many fruits and vegetables namely citrus, apples, peaches, pears, banana, pomegranate, berries, mangoes, onions, potatoes, tomatoes and sugar beet are generally substantially higher than in their respective edible tissues, suggesting these wastes and residues to be the potential sources for isolating bio-active compounds. The antioxidants (polyphenolic and other phytochemicals) and other bio-active compounds from these sources exhibit anti-cancer, anti-microbial (pathogens), anti-oxidative and immune-modulatory effects. In addition they reduce incidence of cardiovascular diseases and capillary fragility, inhibit platelet aggregation and prevent thrombosis, oxidative stress, osteoporosis and diabetes in vertebrates. Specifically, the phenolics and flavonoids present in apple, date pit, rambutan ( Nephelium lappaceum ) peel, tomato peel extracts strongly inhibit tumour-cell proliferation. Penta-O-galloyl-glucoside (PGG) present in mango seed kernel extract and mango peel is used in pharmaceutical industries as it possesses anti-tumor, antioxidant, anti-cardiovascular and hepato-protective effects. The terpenoid and flavonoids in banana foliage exhibit anthelmintic properties. Pomace of apple, pear, orange, peach, blackcurrant, cherry, artichoke, asparagus, onion, raspberry, tomato and carrot, durian seeds (gelling and thickening agents), mango peels, date pits, cauliflower trimmings, empty pea pods and okara are used as dietary fibre supplements and as a functional ingredient in processed food products due to the presence of pectins and carotenoids and bound antioxidants. Some of the fruit and vegetable wastes are excellent source of biopigments; examples being betalains in beet root pulp and carotenoid in carrot pulp. Tomato seeds, banana peel, rambutan and mango seed kernel, passion fruit seed, black currant, date pits are good sources of edible oil rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. Many fruit and vegetable wastes are used as a substrate for the production of organic acids (citric, lactic and ferulic acids), single cell protein, essential oils, exogenous enzymes, bio-ethanol/methanol, bio-pesticides, bio-sorbants, bio-degradable plastic, bio-fertilizers, bio-preservatives and edible mushrooms. Some have potential to decrease the emission of enteric methane.
CAB Reviews – Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International
Published: Feb 10, 2016
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