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This is not Waste: the case of Grape Pomace

Grape Pomace is not only being used for compost but as ingredient in flour, oils, and cosmetics.

Photo of Jessica Aguirre
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Grape pomace is the material that remains after the grapes are pressed and consists of skins, seeds, and stems. About 80% of the total harvested grape crop goes into wine-making; the remaining 20% is pomace. Traditionally, pomace is being used as a compost and mulch but due to its high nutritive value pomace is making its way to flour, oils, and cosmetics. Pomace contains antioxidant and radical scavenging properties with great potential for natural antioxidant additive for food products and as a dietary supplement.

Some of the successful stories repurposing pomace:

Marché Noir Foods had been using pomace to turn it into wine flour. Some of their products are Pasta Caberneti and Cabernet Brownies. They claim that their approach should be not much about recycling but “rediscovering something of great value that has always been there”.

AprèsVin uses the pomace from winemaking to produce artisanal, varietal grape seed oils and gluten-free grape seed flours.

Caudalie is a French skincare company using grape-seed polyphenos with anti-aging properties in many of its products. During the harvest season in the family vineyard, they realized that “they were throwing away treasures” and with further assistance they develop their patented formula.

Green Paper Works is a startup from India. It produces “grape paper”, handcrafted luxury paper that is tree free and chemical free. It is cost competitive since raw materials are of low cost compared with the traditional alternatives using other fibers like wood, cotton, thread, biomass, etc.


What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

Rethinking Waste. Byproducts are not necessarily synonymous with waste products and they can be used as raw materials in other manufacturing processes.

Tell us about your work experience:

Actively pursuing alternative uses for byproducts, researching, and telling their stories.

This post emerged from:

  • A group brainstorm

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Photo of Bertha Jimenez

Great story Jessica,

I have a question. I was reading Ashwin Goutham Gopi interview about wineries, and he posted that the wineries in NY, just produce wine from September to November. Do you know how do these companies manage to have enough supply of by-products? Also, what do you think are the main challenges for NYC to have similar stories (and companies) as the once you described?

Photo of Jessica Aguirre

Thanks Bertha for your comment. I believe you are asking me about the supply of the product.
In the case of the Red Hook winery; the grapes come from upstate New York or Long Island. Depending on their production, they secure enough material to fulfill demand. The pomace is either composted or discarded.
The number of wineries in New York does present an opportunity for thinking what else to do with this byproduct. In addition, being located in the city has their own challenges such as regulations and transportation that could be further analyzed and tailor a better solution for this byproduct.