Apple superfood breakthrough

GROUND BREAKING RESEARCH on
apples and apple skins carried out at the University of Newcastle’s Central Coast Campus at Ourimbah has led food science researcher, Dr Vincent Candrawinata, into producing and distributing his own innovative range of activated phenolics through his company Renovatio Bioscience.
Dr Candrawinata’s research on apples has resulted in the development of the most potent cancer fighting superfood on the planet.
It was during his final year of undergraduate study in Food Science and Human
Nutrition at the Central Coast Campus that Dr Candrawinata, then aged 25, began looking into becoming a researcher. His supervisor, Dr Costas Stathopoulos, played a large role in encouraging him to commence Honours.
“Costas sparked my interest in apple juice and the polyphenolics because he said I would be making apple juice from orange. I didn’t know that Orange is a name of a place in Australia. But that was enough to spark my interest in the project which concluded that juices made from Australian apples are higher in phenolic compounds than those from imported concentrates,” he said.
Phenolics are a natural compound in fruits and vegetables possessing very high antioxidant activity. Studies show that these compounds are linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases and even cancer. Dr Candrawinata also discovered that the juicing process transfers these compounds to waste material known as pomace (i.e. the pulpy matter remaining after the juice is extracted from the fruit).
Dr Candrawinata, who completed his PhD in food science and human nutrition in 2014, said the major superfood breakthrough was achieved through new natural
extraction technology.
“It results in a highly water-soluble antioxidant, which is 100 per cent natural and entirely compatible with the human body,” he said.
“In this way it is closer to being a more super superfood than a supplement as we traditionally know them.
“The breakthrough is that no chemicals are used at any stage of the process.
This makes the end product safer and far more useful to the body than other dietary antioxidants.”
By early 2014 we consistently performed and produced the extraction in a consistent form,” Dr Candrawinata said.
“It then took us a year to work out how to scale up production. After the initial jubilation we suddenly realised that because this was new, there was no manufacturing machinery available for us to mass produce it.”
He said it was the “complete package” of apples that made them so nutritionally potent.
Dr Candrawinata’s Honours programme was funded and supported by Horticulture Australia, NSW Department of Primary Industries and the University of Newcastle’s Faculty of Science and IT Strategic Research Initiative Fund to tackle an ongoing problem of low priced apple juice concentrate imported from China confronting Australian Apple Juice producers.
“It was so problematic that even if Australian manufacturers were given apples to process for free, the costs of labour, packaging and distribution would be more expensive than importing concentrate. At first glance, there is not much difference between those made from imported concentrates and fresh Australian apples,” he said.

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