Stone Fruit Pits Upcycled Into Oils and Alternative Dairy Products

One of the best parts about summer (in my opinion) is that it is stone fruit season, and I always look forward to consuming an abundance of nectarines, apricots, cherries, plums, and peaches.

After the vibrant, juicy fruit flesh is devoured, the rock-hard pit is leftover. Pits are not obviously edible and seem like something you would just toss in the garbage or compost. However, a start-up called Kern Tec, based in Austria, is developing methods to transform the discarded pits from fruit to create a variety of consumer packaged good products.

This week I spoke on the phone with Sebastion Jeschko, one of the co-founders of Kern Tec, who said that the inspiration to start the company came when he and his co-founders spoke with local farmers about what part of the stone fruit industry most often went to waste.

After processing fruit, there was no obvious use for the pits, which molded quickly and were considered waste. The challenging part of using pits is extracting the seed from the hard outer hull. While the company can’t yet disclose many details on the process, Kern Tec has figured out how to separate these seeds from the outer hull. Once extracted, they can be used as regular nuts, as stone fruit seeds contain a high amount of protein, healthy unsaturated fats, and vitamin E.

At the moment, the company has two products available on the market in Europe. One is a chocolate nougat spread made from a base of upcycled apricot seeds. The other is various oils made from the seeds of plum, apricot, and cherries, which according to Jeschko, has a sweet, fruity taste. Kern Tec is currently in the process of developing non-dairy milk and yogurt alternatives from pits, and will also eventually create a protein powder.

With more and more mouths to feed on a daily basis, it doesn’t make sense to toss things like agricultural side streams that have the potential to be transformed into food. To that end, plenty of other companies are now developing uses for these side streams. 

The Supplant Company upcycles post-harvest byproducts from wheat, rice, and corn crops to create a new type of sugar. Coffee cherries, the vibrant red fruit that surrounds a coffee bean, is normally tossed, but The Coffee Cherry Co. upcycles this product to create a powder for baked goods and teas. In addition to upcycling agricultural side streams, there are a plethora of companies using food that would otherwise go to waste to create new products.

Kern Tec is currently in the three-month-long incubator through ProVeg International, and which is set to finish in the next few weeks. The startup is currently talking with investors, and after the program, will be closing its first funding round.

Website Link (Article by Ashlen Wilder)

Published by RenSun Lee

Kia ora! Sustainability is at the core of my soul ever since I was a kid. I always strive to finish the food on my plate and live as a minimalist. I love to cut down on waste in order to live sustainably and harmoniously with our planet. This brings me to my passion as a Food Scientist to integrate new technologies into innovative and creative solutions to meet customer demands and market trends and to optimize products and processes for quality, savings and sustainability. To these goals, I have published a Journal on my work on sustainable packaging and patented a new Antimicrobial wash. Nothing is more satisfying than working hard and smart at the workplace and playing hard outside of working hours. I enjoy rejuvenating myself through spending quality time with my two adorable kids and my awesome soul mate and getting close to nature when possible, be it gardening, tramping or going to the beach. I also love to learn about our magnificent universe and how sustainability is working in the grand scheme of things. I strongly believe that Work, Life & Balance is the key to a healthy state of mind, both physically and mentally. I look forward to making a positive difference wherever and whenever I can. Through this Blog, I hope to catalog recent Food Trends and Food Technologies that I come across so that anyone who is interested can have access to it (articles and resources). Please use these resources at your discretion. On top of that, I would also like to share related news and technologies of the future that would help mankind advance towards a Type 1 Civilization. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to share and contribute to the “Resources“. I would like to thank you in advance for dropping by. I sincerely hope that you can benefit from the recent Food Trends and Food Technologies I catalogued. Kind regards | Ngā mihi RenSun Lee

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