Encapsulation study backs pomegranate seed oil as functional ingredient

Research into the encapsulation of polyphenol-rich pomegranate seed oil has backed the use of the processing by-product as a functional ingredient for the food and nutrition industry.

The study – published in Food and Bioproducts Processing – evaluates new methods for the production of pomegranate seed oil for the food industry. The technique was developed based on the extraction of the polyphenol-rich seed oil and its subsequent encapsulation by spray drying.

“Pomegranate is one of the oldest known edible fruit that contains the highest concentration of total polyphenols in comparison with other fruits studied,” note the authors, who note that the fresh fruit is popularly consumed whole or as part of other food and beverage products.

The team, led by Dr Athanasia Goula from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, note that during the industrial processing of pomegranate, large volumes of industrial wastes – including seeds, peels, leaves – are produced, all of which have a wide range of nutritional values that could be utilised as functional ingredients for the food industry.

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