Sustainable valorization of pitaya (Hylocereus spp.) peel in a semi-continuous high-pressure hydrothermal process to recover value-added products

July 28, 2023 | Food Research International | 

In a study conducted by the University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil, researchers explored a semi-continuous high-pressure hydrothermal process for extracting value-added products from pitaya peel. Operating under conditions of 15 MPa, a water flow rate of 2 mL/min, and temperatures ranging from 40 to 210 °C, the process demonstrated efficacy in recovering compounds such as betacyanin, malic acid, citric acid, and various phenolic compounds. Extraction temperatures facilitated the retrieval of specific components, while hydrolysis at elevated temperatures generated sugars and Maillard reaction products, enhancing total phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity. The study suggests that this innovative hydrothermal process holds promise for sustainable recovery of valuable compounds from pitaya peel, aligning with principles of a circular economy in the agri-food industry.

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