High Nutrition Ingredients from Agricultural Food Waste | Fight Food Waste CRC
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High Nutrition Ingredients from Agricultural Food Waste

The challenge

There is a global market for high value food and dietary supplement products with scientifically proven health benefits for the management of metabolic diseases such as diabetes and chronic pain. At the same time our food industry routinely discards the nutrient rich component of foods during processing. Several agricultural food waste streams such as grape marc and apple pomace are ideal feedstocks for these products due to their micronutrient density.

Typical methods for utilisation of food waste in supplements involve extraction of a small group of molecules, leaving most of the waste stream unutilised. This results in products which are not effective and fail to reduce food waste in any significant way. “Food as medicine” companies such as Gratuk Technologies have taken a different approach – rather than extract bioactive molecules, they process the food in such a way to maintain and stabilise as many bioactives as possible, utilising the whole waste stream. These ingredients are then used to produce formulated foods that meet specific nutritional deficiencies. Gratuk Technologies has successfully commercialised 20 food products that meet known nutritional deficiencies in lifestyle diseases (through its business partner MediKane). The sourcing of suitable ingredients has been difficult and inconsistent, and thus Extracta was founded specifically to meet this need.

Our plan

Each year, Australia produces 350,000 tonnes of grape marc waste and 230,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables pomace waste. Together Extracta and Gratuk, in collaboration with Queensland University of Technology and the Fight Food Waste CRC, will target these significant food waste streams to create a scalable modular process that will deliver high nutrition ingredients.

This project has three objectives:

  1. produce high nutrition ingredients that have been identified by the commercial partner as desirable for their next generation products (produced from grape marc and apple waste);
  2. ensure that the food waste input is utilised completely with no residual food waste;
  3. design a modular process that can be expanded to other input streams and produce other high nutrition products such as pectin. It is expected that this project will eliminate 100,000 tonnes of waste annually.


March 2022 – January 2024

Project Leader

Kameron Dunn, QUT