How a new use for almond co-products is helping tackle food waste31 May 2023
As sustainability remains a high priority in consumers’ purchase decisions, manufacturers can use almonds in good conscience. New research has found innovative ways to use almond co-products as a food ingredient.
With the current economic climate forcing consumers to weigh up product costs against the wider benefits they deliver, sustainability remains a high priority in purchasing decisions. Consumers are seeking brands that align with their core values and that can demonstrate this through product formulations, and wider sustainability actions.
Innova’s Market Insights found that minimising food waste is the top action consumers are taking when it comes to reducing costs in a conscious way and California almonds are a great choice for manufacturers who want to align with this consumer priority. Not only are almonds a great low waste ingredient thanks to their long shelf life, but California almonds are also grown in a zero-waste way, where everything is put to good use.
In fact, new innovative research has added to almonds’ zero-waste credentials by finding higher-value uses for co-products which would otherwise go to waste. A collaboration between food scientists at food and drink development organisation Mattson and California’s almond industry has proven that almond co-products can be used as an ingredient in food.
The nutritious almonds we eat grow in a shell, protected by a hull, on a tree and none of it goes to waste. At the end of their productive lives, almond trees are ground up and incorporated back into the soil in a process known as Whole Orchard Recycling, which in turn, improves soil health, boosts water efficiency, increases yields and reduces greenhouse gases. Traditionally, the shells are also used as livestock bedding and the hulls become livestock feed, however this research has found a potential new use for the hulls.
Almond hulls contain significant amounts of extractable sugar and antioxidants and have a unique flavour profile. Mattson researchers have been testing how they can be used to make high-fibre nutrition and energy bars, coffee or tea replacements and they recently crossed a critical threshold, as their proof-of-concept samples definitively demonstrate that these nutrient-rich, zero-waste ingredients are viable additions to future healthy food products – and offset the need to grow or produce other ingredients.
As consumers continue to prioritise sustainability in their food choices, manufacturers can use California almonds in good conscience, given the industry’s commitment to continuously finding new and innovative ways to reduce its impact on the environment.----------------------------------------------------
- Innova Market Insights Trends Survey 2022
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