The aim of the project, named Berrypom, is to exploit the nutritional and economic value of pomace, the material left after blackcurrants have been pressed for juice.
Pomace – which is a potentially rich source of polyphenols and fibre – can account for up to 30% of the blackcurrant, but has so far had limited use and is often discarded.
Five European countries
Researchers in five European countries plus New Zealand are to look into methods of introducing it into cereal products, including bread, muffins and biscuits.
Lucozade Ribena Suntory has provided samples of pomace to support the University of Huddersfield, where Dr Vassilis Kontogiorgos, Professor Grant Campbell and Dr Katerina Alba are carrying out the UK’s contribution to the project.
The team is concentrating on ways to introduce the pomace into bread dough and the effects of this on taste and colour.
Flavour ‘hardly affected’
Early findings have indicated that flavour is “hardly affected” by the introduction of pomace, but bread and muffins can acquire a dark colouration. As a result, ways to lighten the colour of the blackcurrant by-product are being explored.
Berrypom was fostered by an EU project named SusFood (Sustainable Food production and consumption), which has received £150,000 from the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and £70,000 from the University of Huddersfield.