Yuanyuan Li, Ph.D. Candidate, Padilla-Zakour Lab - Investigating Novel Processing Methods to Develop Minimally Processed, Nutritious Concord Grape Products With Extended Shelf-Life
From Erin Atkins
Ph.D. Candidate, Padilla-Zakour Lab, Cornell University
Investigating Novel Processing Methods to Develop Minimally Processed, Nutritious Concord Grape Products With Extended Shelf-Life
Concord grapes are widely planted in the finger lakes area of New York where they are processed into traditional value-added products such as juice, jelly and wine. Current processing techniques applied may result in quality degradation, especially loss of nutrients due to extended heating; high-sugar and low fiber content; waste production; additives and preservatives addition for shelf-life extension. To meet consumers’ demand for products that are minimally processed, having fresh-like and health-promoting attributes, it is imperative to investigate novel processing methods to develop nutritious, convenient and versatile Concord grape products. Grape skin and seeds are considered by-products in juice and wine production. Instead of being left behind as waste, these antioxidant-rich raw materials could be utilized in developing value-added products, eliminating waste and supporting sustainability. Traditionally, thermal processing and hot air drying provide safe grape products while extending the shelf-life. However, heat may negatively affect the organoleptic properties and the nutritional composition of final grape products. Nonthermal technologies are promising alternatives to preserve organoleptic, nutritional and sensorial attributes. This work focuses on utilizing novel processing methods (high-pressure processing, pulse electric field, microwave-vacuum drying) in developing nutritious Concord grape products that meet current consumers’ demands.