Wine By-Product Transforms into Delectable Jelly Sweets, Offering Sustainable Solution

by Ella

In a bid to tackle the substantial waste generated by the global wine industry, Turkish researchers at Kırklareli University have uncovered a novel application for wine lees – the residual yeast cells left after wine fermentation. The study, recently published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, showcases how wine lees can be repurposed as a key ingredient in gelatine-based confectionery, potentially revolutionizing the sweets industry.

Despite the practice of reusing wine lees in certain wines to enhance flavors, an estimated 2.5 million tons of these by-products are discarded annually on a global scale. The researchers aimed to address this environmental concern by investigating the conversion of wine lees into a natural colorant and bioactive component for jelly-type soft confectionery.


The confectionery industry, valued at $187 billion in 2022 and expected to experience further growth, has yet to explore the incorporation of wine lees into gelatine-based products. The study’s lead author, Dr. Gülce Bedis Kaynarca, an assistant professor at Kırklareli University, emphasized the potential benefits of using wine lees in confectionery.


The researchers compared jelly properties infused with wine lees against those colored with a conventional commercial colorant. The findings revealed that wine lees not only improved the texture of the jellies but also introduced a desirable flavor profile. While the control jellies exhibited superior characteristics in fluidity and hardness, the wine lees-infused counterparts demonstrated enhanced color stability and retained higher levels of phenolic and anthocyanin components.


Dr. Kaynarca highlighted the limitations of synthetic food colorants commonly used in the confectionery industry, citing their lack of aromatic properties and potential inclusion of toxic components. In contrast, wine lees, as the second-largest by-product of winemaking, boast rich anthocyanin content with potential health benefits.


Beyond confectionery, the research suggests that incorporating wine lees into dietary supplements and healthful snack foods could capitalize on their high phenolic content and antioxidant activity, offering potential cardioprotective and anti-cancer properties. Additionally, repurposing wine lees may reduce waste disposal costs for wineries and contribute to the overall reduction of water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions through improved waste management practices.

Dr. Kaynarca anticipates that this innovative research will open doors to various applications for wine lees, fostering sustainability and promoting the utilization of industrial by-products in diverse sectors.



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