A European Union-funded research programme is developing an innovative method for extracting potentially usable compounds from fruit waste.

The Extranat scheme seeks to secure compounds such as vitamins, anti-oxidants, or dietetic fibre that have anti-cancer and heart health-protecting properties. These, said a European Commission note, could be recycled into added value products, such as natural colourings and flavour additives.

Extranat is developing an environment-friendly extraction method based on “supercritical fluid extraction”. Here, gas, such as carbon dioxide, is pressurised and heated into a fluid. Such liquids combine solvating power with the diffusivity of gas, making them “work extremely well as a processing media”.