The central goal of the joint WASTE2TASTE project is to close the circle in food waste streams through designing an innovative processing strategy using high value vegetable waste for the production of high quality and fully natural food ingredients, in the form of dried products with extended shelf life. White Asparagus has been identified as the ideal candidate crop for this project where the currently extensive waste stream shall be exploited to develop new, innovative drying strategies. Importantly, these strategies shall concentrate on maintaining maximum flavour in the final dried powder(s), which are to be used as a clean-label food ingredient. Processing strategies developed will be evaluated for their generic applicability to other vegetables such as tomato, bell pepper and eggplant. We aim to overcome science and technology hurdles to optimise vegetable waste conversion in the most sustainable manner and by retaining quality, specifically focusing on flavour and aroma characteristics. State of the art metabolomics approaches will be designed to direct the production process.
Main objectives of the project “Unravelling white asparagus flavour using metabolomics” will be to, firstly, create a better understanding and knowledge on the biochemical composition of white asparagus and identify the compounds that play crucial role for the flavour of it, in raw and processed materials. We shall exploit state-of-the-art metabolomics approaches to explore the biochemical composition of white Asparagus. GCMS analyses for both volatile and primary metabolites shall be employed and LCMS-based analyses for semi-polar secondary metabolites. These (untargeted) analyses shall provide a broad chemical overview of the profile differences between contrasting genotypes, materials, cooked/uncooked, etc.