A recent study in the SCI’s Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture shows us how winemaking leftovers could brighten up our gelatine sweets, without breaking the bank, and toss in some health perks to boot.
The sludge that’s left once wine’s fermented, called wine lees, piles up to 2.5 million tons worldwide each year. This gunk could harm the environment if mishandled, but turns out, it’s quite a handy addition to stuff like yoghurt, ice cream, and yes, even burgers; it boosts nutrition and ups their game.
Sweets made from gelatine are part of an industry worth a hefty $187 billion since last year and it ain’t slowing down. But get this – nobody thought to mix wine lees into gelatine treats till now. The folks running this study found that not only do these lees make jellies feel better on your tongue but they also sprinkle in some extra tasty notes.
Let’s face it: we love colorful candy. Industry’s big on adding dyes ’cause eye-candy sells. Trouble is, those man-made colors may smell plain, lack health goodies, and sometimes pack nasty surprises.
Enter wine lees – chock-full of anthocyanins (those are good for you) – which got researchers thinking they might hit two birds with one stone: jazz up our jelly sweets naturally and throw in a bunch of health benefits.
We’re splashing more cash on coloring food than ever before—it might hit $4.77 billion come 2026. The author Kaynarca points out we can’t get enough of products stamped ‘natural’, so these budget-friendly wine lees could just be the ticket.
This isn’t the end of the road for wine lees. Packed with phenolics and antioxidants that can fend off heart disease and cancer, it looks like they’re ripe for a spot in dietary supplements and snacks that do more than just silence your tummy rumbles.