Nutraceutical Potential for Water-extracted Grape Seed

The Grape Seed Extract Co. of New Zealand reportedly has tapped the nutraceutical potential of a waste product of wine manufacturers. A non-chemical extraction method gleans the antioxidant from grape seeds left over from wine production, according to a report by Food Navigator Europe.

The company is said to have developed the means to a stable extract that could make grape seed extract a more common candidate for use in functional food and cosmetic products. Director of research of the company, Glenn Vile, Ph.D., told Food Navigator that functional foods and cosmetics are the current trend. The point of differentiation between the new extract, called Vinanza Gold, and others is that it uses water rather than ethanol in the extraction process. The product is said to have a mixture of low and high molecular weight antioxidant compounds, in the same proportion as found naturally in grape seeds.

The company claims it uses only sauvignon blanc grapes from the X of Marlborough; in a sampling of the antioxidant content of a number of different seeds, this sauvignon blanc was found to have twice the antioxidant content of others. According to the company, tests have shown that seven to nine percent of the grape seed is made up of antioxidant compounds. Published literature on the subject suggests that other grape varieties and fruit grown in other locations have an average of only three to four percent.

Additionally, New Zealand wine is grown under a sustainable horticultural program, which involves considered waste disposal and irrigation systems. The country’s clean environment means that the extracts are claimed to be GM-, heavy metal-, arsenic- and pesticide-free.

Vile said in the report that that the stability makes the extracts especially suitable for use in food products. They are also water-soluble, so they can be used in beverages and bakery products. In partnership with a cereal company, Vile’s team is currently developing a muesli using the natural extract, with the aim of delivering the same antioxidant activity in one serving as in a bunch (75g) of grapes. The consumer product is expected to make its debut in October in New Zealand.

-Food Navigator Europe

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