Waste from New Zealand’s wine industry is set to be transformed into high-value products in a $9.8 million project led by the University of Auckland.
Called grape marc, the stems, skins and seeds left over from winemaking offer opportunities for food, paper, pharmaceutical, building and chemical products.
Professor Paul Kilmartin, an expert in wine chemistry, will lead the research programme, which was awarded the money by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Endeavour Fund.
Food additives, chemicals for specialised applications, and paper products with fire-retardant and antimicrobial properties are among potential uses.
“Our research team holds several patents and has developed leading-edge technological approaches that will be applied to grape marc components,” Paul and his colleagues said in a funding application.
Besides Waipapa Taumata Rau, University of Auckland scientists, the team includes researchers from AUT, Crown research institute Scion and the University of Canterbury.
The programme will be “an example of how to create substantial new high-value product revenue streams for New Zealand companies while eliminating a primary industry waste stream as part of our future circular economy,” according to the funding application.
Source: University of Auckland