Scientists squeezing more out of wine industry’s used grapes

Handful of Barossa Valley red grape pomace // Photo by Adrian J. Hunter

Handful of Barossa Valley red grape pomace // Photo by Adrian J. Hunter

Last year, the global wine industry produced over 7.4 billion gallons of wine. In making that staggering amount of vino, wineries produced nearly 5 million tons of grape pomace—the leftover skins, seeds, and stems from the pressing process.

While distilleries have made grappa from the grape pomace for years, Italian scientists have searched for a way to squeeze even more valuable resources from the waste. Lorenzo Bertin and his colleagues at the University of Bologna recently developed a multi-purpose biorefinery to do just that. Their new process produces polyphenols, fatty acids, biopolymers, and biomethane—all chemicals that can be used by different industries.

Read more about the process at Royal Society of Chemistry.


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