Recycling Waste from Goji Berry Wine to Remove Copper

Jim Crocker
27th April, 2024

Recycling Waste from Goji Berry Wine to Remove Copper

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers at Shaanxi Normal University found a way to recycle waste from Chinese wolfberry wine distillation
  • The recycled byproducts, once cleaned of copper ions, enhanced the brandy's quality with higher antioxidant levels
  • The recombined brandy contained more beneficial compounds, suggesting improved health benefits and flavor
In the realm of distillation, the process of creating fine spirits often results in waste products that pose environmental concerns. A recent study conducted by researchers at Shaanxi Normal University[1] has tackled this issue head-on by focusing on the residuals from Chinese wolfberry wine distillation. The problem at hand is twofold: the waste from distillation can contribute to pollution, and valuable resources within this waste are not being utilized. The study's objective was to find a way to recycle the byproducts of Chinese wolfberry wine distillation, specifically by removing unwanted copper (Cu(II)) ions and then reusing the cleaned solution in the production of brandy. This would not only mitigate the environmental impact of the distillation process but also potentially enhance the quality of the end product. To achieve this, the researchers filtered the distillation residual through a ceramic membrane with a 50-nanometer pore size. Following this, they used an ion exchange resin known as D401 to extract the Cu(II) ions from the solution. The cleaned solution was then recombined with the distilled liquor to create a recombined Chinese wolfberry brandy. Upon analysis, the recombined brandy exhibited higher levels of polysaccharides, phenols, and flavonoids compared to the finished brandy. These compounds are known for their antioxidant properties, which suggests that the recombined brandy might offer improved health benefits. Antioxidants play a crucial role in combating oxidative stress in the body, which is linked to various diseases. The study also found significant differences in the volatile compound profiles between the recombined and finished brandy. Gas chromatography-ion mobility spectrometry (GC-IMS) identified 25 volatile compounds, including esters and alcohols, which contribute to the flavor and aroma of the brandy. The incorporation of waste materials in the form of adsorbents has been previously explored in other contexts, such as the removal of Cr(VI) from wastewater using treated agricultural waste like rice husk and sawdust[2]. These materials, after being processed, have shown considerable efficiency in adsorbing harmful substances. While the current study does not utilize these specific waste materials, the underlying principle of reusing and repurposing waste to address environmental issues is a common thread. In the field of drug delivery, the use of polyphenols has been shown to enhance the delivery of therapeutic agents and improve the efficacy of drug carriers[3]. These findings highlight the versatility of naturally occurring compounds in various applications, including their potential role in enhancing the antioxidant capacity of food and beverages, as seen in the current study. Moreover, the analysis of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) in fermented beverages has been improved by optimizing the conditions for headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) coupled with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS)[4]. This methodological advancement is in line with the techniques employed in the current study, which used GC-IMS to identify and quantify volatile compounds in brandy samples. The research from Shaanxi Normal University not only provides a solution to the environmental problem associated with distillation residuals but also offers a potential improvement to the beverage itself. By effectively removing Cu(II) ions and enhancing the brandy with additional beneficial compounds, the study sets a precedent for the sustainable production of distilled beverages. The utilization of waste products in this manner could be a significant step forward for the distillation industry, reducing its ecological footprint while creating a product with potentially superior qualities. The implications of this study are far-reaching, suggesting that the distillation industry could adopt similar methods to transform waste into valuable components of the final product. This approach aligns with broader environmental goals of reducing waste and promoting the circular economy, where resources are reused and recycled to the greatest extent possible. The research is a testament to the innovative possibilities that arise when environmental stewardship meets scientific ingenuity.

AgricultureBiotechPlant Science


Main Study

1) Removal of Cu (II) by ion exchange resin and its re-utilization of the residual solution from the distilled Lycium barbarum wine.

Published 30th June, 2024 (future Journal edition)

Related Studies

2) A comparative study for the removal of hexavalent chromium from aqueous solution by agriculture wastes' carbons.

3) Multifaceted role of phyto-derived polyphenols in nanodrug delivery systems.

4) Development of the Method for Determination of Volatile Sulfur Compounds (VSCs) in Fruit Brandy with the Use of HS-SPME/GC-MS.

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