Orange juice is the most popular fruit juice in Europe by consumption with about 6 million liters of pure juice content consumed annually. This consumption rate is expected to rise to 8.2 billion liters by 2023 due in part to the growth of on-premise juicer machines. Juicer machines make fresh-squeezed orange juice using whole oranges, and once the juice has been made, the orange peels are typically discarded.
What happens to orange peels? Unfortunately, orange peels cannot be composted like other fruits and vegetables due to their essential oil and wax content which prevents fast decay. This means most orange peels obtained in commercial settings are usually collected and then incinerated as part of standard waste disposal protocols. Since orange peels are naturally rich in highly prized essential oils, much of this essential oil has been going to waste.
What’s the solution? PeelPioneers is a Dutch start-up that is making a difference in how we use discarded orange peels. Here is the process that PeelPioneers uses:
They receive fresh orange peels that are discarded by the supermarket within a 24-hour period.
The fresh orange peels are washed and then a cold-press extracts a high-quality oil-in-water emulsion from the peels.
The peel oil-in-water emulsion is then separated by a high-performance centrifuge.
The orange essential oil is then refined and standardized via vacuum distillation. It can then be used as material to create signature orange flavors.
We are interested in your feedback about this new method of using discarded orange peels to create the source material for orange flavors. Additionally, we want your help to identify other upcylcing opportunities.
Keep these definitions in mind as you answer the following questions:
Recycling: Converts a material into something that has roughly the same value as it originally had.
Upcycling: Refers to waste material that has been elevated in value.
Waste Management: The activities and actions required to manage waste from its inception to its final disposal
Zero Waste: A set of principles focused on waste prevention that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused.
Reusing/Repurposing: Finding a way to use the same item more than once before becoming a waste