As you sip your favorite Oregon wine, do you ever wonder what happened to the discarded remains of those luscious grapes? Typically, the seeds, skins and stems from the nation’s 4 million tons of wine grapes have been tossed out — until now.
The pulpy leftovers of juicing and crushing, called “pomace,” are finding their way into products as diverse as gluten-free muffins, biodegradable flowerpots and edible food wrappings, thanks to Oregon State Extension researcher Yanyun Zhao and cereal chemist Andrew Ross. Loaded with antioxidants and dietary fiber, pomace also controls bacteria and preserves fats, making it versatile as well as nutritious.
“We now know that pomace can be a sustainable source of material for a wide range of goods,” says Zhao.