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Nutrient-Rich Onion Waste Could Be Recycled, Researchers Suggest

July 14, 2011: 11:05 AM EST
Researchers in Spain and the U.K. who analyzed each part of the onion have found that valuable nutrients and other substances are lost when half a million tons of onion waste are discarded during processing in European countries alone. Waste includes the dry brown skin, outer layers, roots and stalks, and onions damaged or not big enough for commercial use. They found, for example, that the brown onion skin could be used as a source of non-soluble dietary fiber as well as phenolic compounds and other flavonoids. The two outer fleshy layers of the onion also contain fiber and flavonoids. Whole onions thrown away are a source of prebiotic fructans for digestive health and sulfurous compounds that contribute to cardiovascular health.
Vanesa Benítez, et al. , "Characterization of Industrial Onion Wastes (Allium cepa L.): Dietary Fibre and Bioactive Compounds", Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, July 14, 2011, © Plant Foods for Human Nutrition
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