The production of orange juice on an industrial level leads to a considerable quantity of solid and liquid residue (around 8–20 million tons, globally), which is still considered as waste or used as a complement in agriculture.
In general, orange residues have no economic value, even though their composition is rich in soluble sugars, cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin and essential oils that could form the basis of several industrial processes.
In a recent study, information was collected on the technological potential of the solid and liquid residues generated in the processing of orange juice. Possible applications include human consumption, fertilizer, animal feed, charcoal, adsorption of chemical compounds, bio-oil production and extraction of essential oils and pectin.
In this preliminary study, alternatives are proposed for the minimization and recovery of solid and liquid residues generated in the production of orange juice with a view to the implantation of industrial plants which can reuse this material, in order to add value to this solid and liquid waste and provide environmental benefits. The alternatives were proposed based on information and data available in the literature and the concepts of clean technologies.
Since the early part of the twentieth century the California Fruit Growers Exchange has been working with growers to find new markets and uses for the fruit, by-products and most recently the waste products from oranges.
We have featured several advances in the use of Orange residue in the manufacture of clothing, oil from oil sands and shale and other eco friendly by-products.
After juice extraction (approximately 50 percent of the fruit weight is juice), what remains is dried and made into cattle feed, molasses and a few other products. Other products for the orange waste include alcohol, wines and preserves.
The citrus peel oil is also put to good use.
"The oil is extracted from the orange peel prior to the fruit being squeezed in order to extract the orange juice. The oil, being volatile, is captured in water and later centrifuged out and stored as peel oil, D-limonene (often used in cleaning products) and other products. Peel oil is extracted from the peels prior to juicing so that it is not lost into the air. As the juice is packaged for sale, the oil is added back into the orange juice, as it enhances the flavor.
Citrus peel oil is added to other juices, such as grape and apple, as it adds to the overall flavor.
It is also used in other products such as lipstick, hand soaps and perfumes — even those perfumes that do not smell like orange.
Of course, I must say my favorite use for oranges is as a very healthy and tasty snack.
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180 South “E” Street
Porterville, CA 93257