Greek Yogurt Enhanced with Green Papaya: A Nutrient Profile

Jenn Hoskins
30th March, 2024

Greek Yogurt Enhanced with Green Papaya: A Nutrient Profile

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Study at National Dairy Research Institute found papaya peel powder boosts Greek yogurt's health benefits
  • Papaya peel addition to yogurt introduces antioxidants and prebiotics, aiding gut health and disease prevention
  • This approach turns food waste into valuable health-promoting ingredients, supporting sustainability
In recent years, the food industry has been exploring innovative ways to reduce waste and create sustainable products that are not only nutritious but also beneficial for health. A prime example of this effort is the latest study conducted by the National Dairy Research Institute[1]. Researchers have turned their attention to the fruit processing industry, which generates significant amounts of waste, particularly in the form of unutilized fruit peels. These byproducts are often discarded, yet they contain valuable compounds that can enhance human health. The study aimed to address this issue by investigating the potential of using unripened papaya peel powder (UPPP) as an additive in Greek yogurt, transforming it into a functional food with added health benefits. Functional foods are those that have a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition. They contain bioactive compounds that can contribute to the prevention and management of various diseases. The concept of adding value to food products by incorporating health-promoting ingredients aligns with previous findings that agroindustrial byproducts, such as fruit peels, are rich in antioxidant dietary fiber (ADF)[2]. ADF is a combination of dietary fiber and phenolic compounds, which are known for their antioxidant properties. These compounds are linked to reducing the risk of chronic diseases like type II diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, as well as having prebiotic effects that support gut health. The National Dairy Research Institute's study utilized a high-resolution mass spectrometry technique, known as LC-MS-based foodomics, to analyze the metabolites present in Greek yogurt after the addition of UPPP. This untargeted metabolomic approach allowed for the identification of 36 functional metabolites, which included kaempferol, ostruthin, and putative carpaine derivatives, among others. These metabolites are recognized for their wide-ranging health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and prebiotic properties. The inclusion of UPPP in Greek yogurt is particularly noteworthy as it not only enhances the nutritional profile of the yogurt but also introduces prebiotic components. Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, thereby improving digestion and overall gut health. This synergistic relationship between the yogurt's probiotics and the prebiotic elements from UPPP creates a synbiotic food product—where both components work together to enhance the health benefits. Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory activity of polyphenol-rich extracts, such as those found in the Japanese quince leaf, has been previously demonstrated to reduce the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and mediators in cell studies[3]. The metabolites identified in the functional yogurt with UPPP may similarly contribute to anti-inflammatory effects, although the study does not specifically address this. Additionally, the research touches upon the role of dietary polyphenols in the production of hippuric acid, an endogenous co-metabolite that has been suggested as a biomarker for aging and age-related diseases[4]. The polyphenols found in UPPP could potentially influence the levels of hippuric acid in the body, further supporting the health benefits of the functional yogurt developed in this study. The findings of the National Dairy Research Institute not only highlight the potential health benefits of incorporating UPPP into Greek yogurt but also emphasize the importance of utilizing food waste as a valuable resource. This approach aligns with the principles of the circular economy, aiming to minimize waste and make the most of existing resources. By valorizing fruit peel waste into functional food ingredients, the agroindustry can improve the nutritional quality of food products while reducing environmental impact. In conclusion, the study presents an innovative solution to food waste by creating a functional yogurt with added health benefits derived from unripened papaya peel powder. This research contributes to a growing body of evidence supporting the use of agroindustrial byproducts as functional food ingredients[2], with potential anti-inflammatory effects[3] and implications for aging and age-related conditions[4]. It represents a step forward in the development of sustainable, health-promoting food products that cater to the needs of an increasingly health-conscious consumer base.



Main Study

1) Foodomics-based metabolites profiling of the Greek yogurt incorporated with unripened papaya peel powder.

Published 30th July, 2024 (future Journal edition)

Related Studies

2) Antioxidant Dietary Fiber Sourced from Agroindustrial Byproducts and Its Applications.

3) Japanese quince (Chaenomeles japonica) leaf phenol extract as modulator of the inflammatory response in lipopolysaccharide-triggered murine macrophage RAW 264.7 cells.

Journal: Journal of physiology and pharmacology : an official journal of the Polish Physiological Society, Issue: Vol 71, Issue 6, Dec 2020

4) Hippuric acid: Could became a barometer for frailty and geriatric syndromes?

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