About 95% of the oranges produced in US are used for processing into juice. Citrus processing waste (CPW) is what remains from the fruit after it has been processed into juice. CPW is made up of the peel, rag, juice sacs and seeds. Approximately 44% of the orange fruit mass wet consists of CPW. Therefore, by-product development is essential for managing CPW and increasing the overall value of the fruit. CPW contains sugars, pectin, oil and phenolics. Extraction and isolation of the sugars, pectin, phenolics and oils from CPW could be used for the production of ethanol, functional foods, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, cosmetics, flavors, scents, solvents, and polymers ultimately increasing the value of the fruit as a whole. The U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory located in Fort Pierce, Florida has developed technology that isolates the oil from CPW and produces a homogeneous mash via steam explosion that contains sugars, pectin and phenolics that can easily be extracted using a simple water wash. This research will be develop a membrane filtration for isolating the pectin, sugars and phenolics from one another in this aqueous stream.
This project will be performed in collaboration with Dr. Christina Dorado from U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory, Florida.
• Develop a method using membrane filtration to separate the pectin, sugars and phenolics from one another in the aqueous stream of water washed steam exploded CPW.
• Develop a method for reducing the water using membrane filtration in the isolated aqueous pectin, sugar and phenolic streams.