Biotransformation of citrus by-products into value added products

Author(s): Mamma D, Christakopoulos P


Citrus by-products are the processing wastes generated after citrus juice extraction and constitute about 50 % of fresh fruit weight. This solid residue comprised of peel (flavedo and albedo), pulp (juice sac residue), rag (membranes and cores) and seeds. The disposal of the fresh peels is becoming a major problem to many factories. Usually, citrus juice industries dry the residue and it is either sold as raw material for pectin extraction or pelletized for animal feeding, though none of these processes is very profitable. This residual material is a poor animal feed supplement because of its extremely low protein content and high amount of sugar. The application of agroindustrial by-products in bioprocesses offers a wide range of alternative substrates, thus helping solve pollution problems related to their disposal. This article reviews attempts that have been made to use citrus by-products to generate several value-added products, such as essential oils, pectin, enzymes, single cell protein, natural antioxidants, ethanol, organic acids, and prebiotics.

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