Apple skin powder to boost fibre in snacks

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

An under-utilised food-processing by-product, apple skin, could
offer the food industry a novel and healthy-boosting source of
fibre for bakery, Canadian researchers report.

Incorporation of apple skin powder into muffins were found to be higher in fibre and have a higher antioxidant content than standard muffins, report the authors from Nova Scotia Agricultural College. "To our knowledge, apple skin as a food ingredient in a bakery product has not been previously reported,"​ wrote the researchers in the journal Food Chemistry​. "The results indicate that apple skin powder could be considered as an alternative dietary fibre source or specialty food ingredient for muffins, other bakery products, or selected functional foods and nutraceuticals,"​ they added. Insoluble fibre contains cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin and cannot be dissolved in water, unlike soluble fibre. It is found in wheat or cereal bran and in most vegetables and fruits. Consumption of insoluble fibre has previously been associated with a reduced risk of obesity and diabetes. The researchers obtained a blanched, dehydrated, and ground apple skin powder (ASP), with a reported content of 41 per cent for dietary fibre. Moreover, the powder was found to contain high levels of antioxidant activity, with an oxygen radical absorption capacity (ORAC) of 52 mg Trolox equivalents per gram of dry weight. When formulated into muffins, a dose-dependent effect for the muffin's antioxidant capacity and the amount of ASP used in the recipe was observed. The baking process was not associated with any significant loss of total antioxidant activity, the researchers report. Moreover, the baking process was observed to promote the conversion of quercetin glycosides, predominantly present in ASP, to quercetin aglycone, the more bioavalable form. "The enhanced potential health promoting indicators such as higher dietary fibre, TPC, and TAC coupled with enhanced food preparation properties such as greater water holding capacity provide new insight for use of apple skin as a value-added food ingredient,"​ wrote lead author Vasantha Rupasinghe. "Furthermore, better use of the by-product will also provide benefits to the apple industry as well as solutions for environment concerns associated with disposal." ​ Source: Food Chemistry​ (Elsevier) Volume 107, Issue 3, Pages 1217-1224 "Effect of baking on dietary fibre and phenolics of muffins incorporated with apple skin powder" ​Authors: H.P. Vasantha Rupasinghe, L. Wang, G.M. Huber N.L. Pitts

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