Increasing potato waste value 10,000-fold

The least valuable part of potato residue that currently goes to landfill could increase in value 10,000-fold, say the Danish researchers transforming them into natural additives. The aim of the project, which is being coordinated by Technical University of Denmark, is to develop tools that scan potato residues for protein sequences with properties that could be used to produce additives. These proteins could be used to make a range of natural food additives from preservatives and flavouring agents to emulsifiers, the researchers said. Currently, however, many of them are being used for low-value animal feed or simply being thrown out as waste. One of the challenges will be to develop an extraction process that is cost efficient and effective. The researches estimate that residual potato products are currently sold for between DKK 1-15 per kilogram – somewhere between €0.13 and €2. Protein extracted from these residues could be sold for a per kilo price that is around 10,000 times higher, depending on the final use. Be it food, malt beverages or beer – Döhler Cereal Ingredients make products delicious and increase the efficiency of production processes. The liquid or dry extracts are also available as halal. kosher and aluten-free variants. Another example is lactoferrin, which can be found in colostrum, “which is really expensive, and our product has all of this but for a relatively very low price.” Muscle protein synthesis, recovery, and even immune support for athletes are among the benefits of the ingredients, Comstock said. One of the first studies on the ingredients was conducted as the University of California, Davis. It was a randomized, placebo-controlled trial, where participants aged 60 to 84 consumed 7.5 g of either soy protein or TruActive twice a day for four weeks. “Then they had a vaccine, and then four more weeks of consumption and a blood test,” he explained. “We looked at antibody development, and the reason we did that was because antibodies are a good predictor for immune response.” He added: “Everyone talks about immune support, but there’s no good way of measuring immune activity or how healthy your immune system is. So what we’re trying to prove was that our product would make elderly immune systems more responsive.” The study was a follow-up of UC Davis researchers who studied the same soy protein used in this study ten years ago, but compared it to whey. Back then, they found that whey improved vaccine response by 17% more than soy. “We were hoping to do better than whey, 20% to 25%,” Comstock said. “To our surprise, the results came in 12% improvement, so more than double the antibodies developed an average. That’s way more than we expected we were able to do.