Americans are making, drinking, and exporting more wine than ever before. A hobby for some and serious business for others, winemaking consumes a whole lot of grapes every year (in the neighborhood of 4 million tons in the US alone), and that number is growing. But as with any type of industry, there's a certain industrial waste to be managed. In the case of winemaking, it's called pomace, and up to now vintners have been paying to have the pulpy mass hauled away. Now food science researchers at Oregon State University in Corvallis have come up with a process to make pomace into useful products, from biodegradable fiberboard to a nutritional foodstuff, which is the kind of earth-friendly, business-savvy research from which OSU is likely to profit nicely when the technology is commercialized internationally.
[Oregon grape fields, courtesy of Oregon Wine]