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J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Mar 12;51(6):1676-83.

Apple peels as a value-added food ingredient.

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Institute of Comparative and Environmental Toxicology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853-7201, USA.


There is some evidence that chronic diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, may occur as a result of oxidative stress. Apple peels have high concentrations of phenolic compounds and may assist in the prevention of chronic diseases. Millions of pounds of waste apple peels are generated in the production of applesauce and canned apples in New York State each year. We proposed that a valuable food ingredient could be made using the peels of these apples if they could be dried and ground to a powder without large losses of phytochemicals. Rome Beauty apple peels were treated with citric acid dips, ascorbic acid dips, and blanches before being oven-dried at 60 degrees C. Only blanching treatments greatly preserved the phenolic compounds, and peels blanched for 10 s had the highest total phenolic content. Rome Beauty apple peels were then blanched for 10 s and dried under various conditions (oven-dried at 40, 60, or 80 degrees C, air-dried, or freeze-dried). The air-dried and freeze-dried apple peels had the highest total phenolic, flavonoid, and anthocyanin contents. On a fresh weight basis, the total phenolic and flavonoid contents of these samples were similar to those of the fresh apple peels. Freeze-dried peels had a lower water activity than air-dried peels on a fresh weight basis. The optimal processing conditions for the ingredient were blanching for 10s and freeze-drying. The process was scaled up, and the apple peel powder ingredient was characterized. The total phenolic content was 3342 +/- 12 mg gallic acid equivalents/100 g dried peels, the flavonoid content was 2299 +/- 52 mg catechin equivalents/100 g dried peels, and the anthocyanin content was 169.7 +/- 1.6 mg cyanidin 3-glucoside equivalents/100 g dried peels. These phytochemical contents were a significantly higher than those of the fresh apple peels if calculated on a fresh weight basis (p < 0.05). The apple peel powder had a total antioxidant activity of 1251 +/- 56 micromol vitamin C equivalents/g, similar to fresh Rome Beauty peels on a fresh weight basis (p > 0.05). One gram of powder had an antioxidant activity equivalent to 220 mg of vitamin C. The freeze-dried apple peels also had a strong antiproliferative effect on HepG(2) liver cancer cells with a median effective dose (EC(50)) of 1.88 +/- 0.01 mg/mL. This was lower than the EC(50) exhibited by the fresh apple peels (p < 0.05). Apple peel powder may be used in a various food products to add phytochemicals and promote good health.

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