Page last updated Nov 2021
Red wine grape pulp offers big nutritional benefits

A new scientific study has shown that pomace – the mashed, leftover pulp from red grapes in the early process of making wine contains key nutritional components linked to gut health.
Scientists from Cornell University have found that two stilbenes -- beneficial molecular compounds found in plants -- can have a positive affect on human intestines and the stomach’s microbiome. While this still needs further research, the finding may play a role in reducing the risks from cardiovascular disease and diabetes, according to their work published in the journal Nutrients.
“This byproduct of making wine has important potential,” Elad Tako, associate professor of food science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences commented. “If we can use the pomace to either extract key compounds or use them as a dietary ingredient to fold into food, then grape pomace can be a very sustainable source of nutritional compounds with demonstrated health benefits,” he explained.
As part of the study, the research group screened red grape varieties typically found in the Finger Lakes Region of New York, where a strong winery economy exists. The team used Vitis vinifera (wine grapes), Vitis labruscana (Concord grapes) and an interspecific hybrid, to associate the findings with practical dietary health benefits of grape and grape product consumption.
Tako explained that by using a chicken (Gallus gallus) as in vivo model, the scientists were able to determine the nutritional benefits of the stilbenes, resveratrol and pterostilbene and they learned how the resveratrol and the pterostilbene affects the gastrointestinal tract, as well as other physiological systems and tissues. The group confirmed positive, nutritional effects on the intestinal microbiome and small intestine.
This research has led to a patent, and the manuscript is part of a Nutrients special issue, “Dietary Polyphenols and Flavonoids, Mineral Bioavailability, Gut Functionality, Morphology and Microbiome.”
Source: Mariana Juste Contin Gomes, Nikolai Kolba, Nikita Agarwal, Dean Kim, Adi Eshel, Omry Koren, Elad Tako. Modifications in the Intestinal Functionality, Morphology and Microbiome Following Intra-Amniotic Administration (Gallus gallus) of Grape (Vitis vinifera) Stilbenes (Resveratrol and Pterostilbene). Nutrients, 2021; 13 (9): 3247
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