Apple Waste OSU Pt 2

Apple Waste OSU Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Options to replace plastic packaging is the focus of research at Oregon State University where they are looking at recycling fruit waste from processing plants to do that.

Professor Yanyun Zhao says with more and more people getting their news online, there is less and less old newspapers to use when creating packing materials, so they are looking for options …

ZHAO … “That’s why we’re so interested, so the question is, how can we use plant fiber, especially the biproduct of food processing such as the pumice and using them as alternative fiber to make molded pulp packaging, which are environmentally friendly.”

But Zhao says they’ve got more work to do on this before it will be commercially viable …

ZHAO … “You know, we do have a patent because it involves lots of research and trying to formulate the pulp to make that type of packaging, right. And also, from a lab-scale to larger scale communications there is some continuous technological development and that’s very clear.”

Right now, Zhao says the focus is on apple pomace because it is so readily available in the Pacific Northwest …

ZHAO … “This concept can also use other fibers, not necessarily just the pomace. You know, you think about things like wine grape pumice or even hemp fibers. There’s so many other potential fibers to maybe utilize.”

The research is supported by the Oregon Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

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