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Biorefinery cascade processing for creating added value on tomato industrial by-products from Tunisia

Kehili, Mouna, Schmidt, Lisa Marie, Reynolds, Wienke, Zammel, Ayachi, Zetzl, Carsten, Smirnova, Irina, Allouche, Noureddine, Sayadi, Sami
Biotechnology for biofuels 2016 v.9 no.1 pp. 261
biorefining, carbon dioxide, cellulose, energy, essential amino acids, ethanol production, food production, fractionation, hemicellulose, human health, hydrolysis, industrial byproducts, industry, lignocellulose, lycopene, nutritive value, protein content, seed oils, seeds, temperature, tomatoes, value added, wastes, Tunisia
BACKGROUND: In today’s consumer perception of industrial processes and food production, aspects like food quality, human health, environmental safety, and energy security have become the keywords. Therefore, much effort has been extended toward adding value to biowastes of agri-food industries through biorefinery processing approaches. This study focused, for the first time, on the valorization of tomato by-products of a Tunisian industry for the recovery of value-added compounds using biorefinery cascade processing. RESULTS: The process integrated supercritical CO₂ extraction of carotenoids within the oil fractions from tomato seeds (TS) and tomato peels (TP), followed by a batch isolation of protein from the residues. The remaining lignocellulosic matter from both fractions was then submitted to a liquid hot water (LHW) hydrolysis. Supercritical CO₂ experiments extracted 5.79% oleoresin, 410.53 mg lycopene/kg, and 31.38 mg β-carotene/kg from TP and 26.29% oil, 27.84 mg lycopene/kg, and 5.25 mg β-carotene/kg from TS, on dry weights. Protein extraction yields, nearing 30% of the initial protein contents equal to 13.28% in TP and 39.26% in TS, revealed that TP and TS are a rich source of essential amino acids. LHW treatment run at 120–200 °C, 50 bar for 30 min showed that a temperature of 160 °C was the most convenient for cellulose and hemicellulose hydrolysis from TP and TS, while keeping the degradation products low. CONCLUSIONS: Results indicated that tomato by-products are not only a green source of lycopene-rich oleoresin and tomato seed oil (TSO) and of protein with good nutritional quality but also a source of lignocellulosic matter with potential for bioethanol production. This study would provide an important reference for the concept and the feasibility of the cascade fractionation of valuable compounds from tomato industrial by-products. Graphical abstract Schema of biorefinery cascade processing of tomato industrial by-products toward isolation of valuable fractions.