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Optimization of the production process and shelf life of a powder obtained from organic tomato residue

Grant number: 20/09833-9
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: September 01, 2021 - May 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Daniela Fojo Seixas Chaves
Grantee:Daniela Fojo Seixas Chaves
Host Company:Agroecovida Indústria e Pesquisa em Alimentos Ltda
CNAE: Atividades de pós-colheita
Fabricação de produtos alimentícios não especificados anteriormente
Atividades profissionais, científicas e técnicas não especificadas anteriormente
City: São Paulo
Associated researchers: Marcos Cesar Soares


Tomato (Licopersicum esculentum) is one of the most cultivated and consumed vegetables in the world and the second most commercialized vegetable in Brazil. The cultivation of organic tomatoes has grown significantly in recent years and today Brazil produces about 3.5 million tons of organic tomatoes on 61 thousand hectares, showing that organic agriculture can be as productive as traditional. The commercial processing of tomatoes to obtain juices, pulps, purees and ketchup, among others, generates thousands of tons of waste (husks and seeds) that are discarded or used for animal feed every year. A study carried out with tomato residue flour (TRF) showed that its nutritional composition was superior to commercial tomato flour (made with whole tomatoes) containing around 21.6% protein (66% more than the commercial flour), 18.41% fiber (11% more than commercial flour) and 8.76% lycopene (content not reported by commercial flours). In the Brazilian market, tomato flour is already sold for a price range between R $ 28.00 and R $ 79.00 / kg. However, there is still no organic tomato flour, nor a flour obtained from tomato residue, here called organic tomato residue flour (OTRF). This work will have as objectives: a) to evaluate the nutritional quality and microbiological safety of OTRF in comparison with the flour already available in the market; b) establish a low-cost process that can be used by small producers to obtain OTRF with high added value and c) determine the best processing and packaging conditions to optimize the validity of OTRF. The main challenge of this project is to guarantee microbiological safety (by physical and chemical methods) and to optimize the validity of the flour (using antioxidants, vacuum and modified atmosphere), considering that OTRF has around 10.42% of lipids (commercial tomato flour has only 0.4%), which can cause oxidative changes during processing and storage. On the other hand, a higher lipid content may be a beneficial factor in the organoleptic characteristics of the product and in the bioavailability of lycopene, a fat-soluble antioxidant. OTRF has the potential to be applied in the food industry (preparation of soups, sauces, creams, spices and juices), pharmaceutical industry (as a lycopene supplement) and as a final product for customers who consume organic, gluten-free, plant based and vegan products. Therefore, our goal is to create a sustainable development business process that can increase the income of the organic family farmer and enable the production of organic tomato residue flour (OTRF) at a low cost and in a location close to the cooperative, in order to minimize costs associated with transport logistics and their impacts. In this way, the company will contribute to the reduction of waste, increase the income of organic family farmers and provide the market with a product potentially superior to the one already on the market (with a higher protein and lycopene content). (AU)

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