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processing for juice, cider, applesauce, or slices (46). More than 500 apple-processing plants in the United States generate a total of about 1.3 million metric tons of apple pomace each year, and the annual disposal fees for apple pomace alone exceed $10 million in the United States (47,48). The high level of organic contents in apple pomace will result in environmental pollution if they are disposed directly to the environment.

Other Fruit and Vegetable Processing Wastes

The food processing industry in the United States generates large amount of various by-products as wastes each year, a large portion of which comes from fruit and vegetable processing industries. It is estimated that approximately 9 million tons of solid residuals are generated annually from the fruit and vegetable processing industry in the United States (49). In addition to apple pomace, other major fruit and vegetable processing wastes come from citrus, grape, cherries, berries, banana, olive, peach, pear, pineapple, kiwifruit, apricot, sweet corn, tomato, potato, asparagus, beans, peas, carrots, beet, pumpkin, squash, spinach, and sauerkraut processing industries (49-56). The primary sources of solid residues resulting from fruit and vegetable processing operations include sorting, cutting, slicing, peeling, pulping, and pressing (49).

Traditionally about 79% of the fruit and vegetable processing wastes is used for animal feed, and the remaining 21% is handled as waste (49). The solid wastes contain mainly soluble sugar and other hydrolyzable materials with small amounts of crude fiber. Disposal of such wastes may present an added cost to processors, and direct disposal to soil or in a landfill may not continue to be acceptable. Thus, exploration of potential value-added uses for pomace is highly attractive.

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