Researchers look to make use of supermarket rejects

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In Australia, a group of researchers from universities and the private sector are looking at ways to convert produce that isn’t supermarket quality into useful products.

The Agricultural Product Development Research Consortium, armed with a $7.4 million grant and based at Adelaide University, will investigate how to convert chitosan from mushrooms into polymers with UV absorbing capabilities and how to extract anthocyanins from apples, cherries and berries for use as colorants in food and cosmetics.

Vincent Bulone, professor at Adelaide University’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, will lead the project. “We have in the project quite a strong focus on the discovery different bioactives, which we will separate and extract, determine their properties and hopefully be able to develop new products from these new molecules,” Bulone says.