NZ company stops grape seeds going to waste
A New Zealand company has devised a way of turning the grape seeds from wine production – usually a waste product – into a saleable commodity.
Marlborough-based New Zealand Extracts has developed a method of producing antioxidant extracts from Sauvignon Blanc grape seeds grown in the region. These can then be used in a wide range of cosmetics and food products.
Dr Glenn Vile, NZ Extracts’ director of research, said, ‘Grape seeds have traditionally been a difficult and costly waste product to dispose of, having to be transported to landfills or processed into animal feed. We’ve developed an environmentally friendly way that utilises a water-extraction process to efficiently separate the high-quality extracts from the seeds.’
The company was established by one of the region’s wineries a couple of years ago to investigate what value could be found in the skins, seeds and other products left after making wine. Its research showed not only that no agricultural residues could be detected in the by-products, but also that the seeds from Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown in Marlborough contain twice as high antioxidant levels as seeds from grapes grown in other parts of the world, according to general manager Bruce Cardwell. As a result, the company worked on developing its grape seed extract, which, it says, is scientifically proven to defend cells from oxidative stress.