Other companies had previously produced red wine powders from by-products, but the Pro Vino partners felt earlier drying methods lost a lot of the natural nutrients or required adding preservatives and artificial substrates to create a stable powder. "We developed a gentle drying process which did not use much heat in order to not destroy ingredients," says Randel.
Once the researchers hit on powders which contained high amounts of nutrients, including a high dose of protein and polyphenols, they set out to find the tastiest combinations in food and the best uses in cosmetics. Not all the products were successful. But the experiments showed the powders' strengths and limitations. "In some products the powder is too acidic and it wasn't nice," she says. "In others, the fruity taste of the grapes in combination with the acidic effect is refreshing."
Randel's personal favourites were yoghurt drinks and other dairy products, like ice-cream, and pastries, cakes and chocolates. Skin creams using the powder were more effective than red to violet eye-shadow and some wine properties could be good for the skin, including having anti-wrinkle effects. However consumers would have to get used to the idea of applying a cream which is initially violet although does not stay red when absorbed into the skin, says Randel. A face mask using the powder was successful because the tartaric acid in the grapes formed crystals if preserved at a high level. "It had a softening and cleansing effect," she says.
Creating the combinations is not a simple matter because, as the partners found, different wine varieties produced very different tasting powders and different powder concentrations were suitable for different products. Nevertheless, the successful products they developed a
|Contact: Dr. Gabriele Randele|