Research is a world that we are passionate about, and we think that the connection between university and business must always exist, because the university has the capacity for research, and companies have the capacity to contribute information to this research and to apply the developments that are born from years and years of study and trial/error work.

For this reason, our links with university entities are active, and today we are going to talk about a project we are developing with the University of Castilla-La Mancha and that we are in love with.

At the Albacete campus of the ETS of Agronomists and Foresters there is a ‘Quixote’ that is working to create functional foods by replacing saturated fats with other polyunsaturated fats and antioxidants from pumpkin seed oil and melon. That’s nothing! We, from Vicente Peris, are their ‘Sanchos’, squires who are supporting research with the transfer of these seeds, since one of our lines of work is the processing of melon piel de sapo and peanut squash, roteña and carruécano, generating as a byproduct seeds of these varieties.

Miguelitos de La Roda and venison chorizo healthier

Researchers in agri-food industry laboratory

Researchers in agri-food industry laboratory

Functional foods are those that, due to their nutritional characteristics, can contribute to improve health and reduce the risk of contracting diseases. For some time now, consumers have been increasingly critical and responsible about what we eat and many people take this into account in their purchasing decisions.

Research at the University of Castilla-La Mancha is working with typical foods from Castilla-La Mancha, such as Miguelitos de La Roda, cookies known as “toledanas” and also with meat products such as hamburgers made from PGI Manchego lamb or fresh deer chorizo.

In the first tests, and in the case of the Miguelitos, up to 25% of butter and vegetable fat has been replaced by pumpkin and melon seed oils. To check that this substantial change did not affect its delicious taste and texture, a series of blind tastings were carried out and the result was ten out of ten, since the average rating of the people who tasted these samples was between ‘I like it very much’ and ‘I like it very much’. In the case of fresh deer chorizo, the substitution of saturated fats has gone further and 100% of saturated fats have been replaced.

Valorization of agri-food waste: a second life for seeds

Study of functional foods: melon and pumpkin seed oil. Vicente Peris, circular economy

Different types of oil according to the seed from which they are extracted.

At Vicente Peris we are very motivated to be part of the creation of functional foods, because we work with natural and fresh products that obviously have an impact on good nutrition and, therefore, on good health. But the truth is that there is another very relevant interest in our participation, and that is the possibility of giving a second useful life to part of the waste that we generate with our activity, which reaches the figure of 2,000 tons per year. This mainly consists of peels and seeds from fruit and vegetable processing. In other words, when we prepare our tubs of melon, watermelon, pomegranate, mango, pumpkin, etc., which we serve peeled and ready to eat, we necessarily eliminate the inedible parts.

At present, we manage this type of organic waste through authorized managers, mainly associated with nearby livestock farms,
and is used as feed for livestock.
. Here we have already taken a step to valorize these wastes and give them a second life, but the more options we have to choose where to use these vegetable wastes, the better.

Because that is the basis of the circular economy, which pursues a production and consumption model that involves sharing, renting, reusing, repairing, renewing and recycling existing materials and products as often as possible to create added value. In this way, the life cycle of products is extending and our world will become increasingly sustainable. A philosophy of life and business that we share completely from Vicente Peris.