The present investigation was aimed to evaluate the release of both antioxidants and cellulosic fibre from different agro-food wastes. Cost-effective and easily available agro-food residues (brewersâ spent grains, hazelnut shells, orange peels and wheat straw) were selected and submitted to a double-step acid/alkaline fractionation process. The obtained acid and alkaline liquors were analysed for total phenols content and antioxidant capacity. The final fibre residue was analysed for the cellulose, lignin and hemicellulose content. The total phenols content and antioxidant capacity of the acid liquors were higher than the alkaline hydrolysates. Orange peels and wheat straw gave, respectively, the highest (19.70Â Â±Â 0.68Â mg/gdm) and the lowest (4.70Â Â±Â 0.29Â mg/gdm) total phenols release. Correlation between antioxidant capacity of the liquors and their origin depended on the analytical assay used to evaluate it. All the acid liquors were also rich in sugar degradation products (mainly furfural). HPLC analysis revealed that the most abundant phenolic compound in the acid liquors was vanillin for brewersâ spent grains, hazelnut shells and wheat straw, and p-hydroxybenzoic acid for orange peels. Wheat straw served as the best raw material for cellulose isolation, providing a final residue with a high cellulose content (84%) which corresponded to 45% of the original cellulose. The applied process removed more than 90% of the hemicellulose fraction in all the samples, while delignification degree ranged from 67% (in hazelnut shells), to 93% (in brewersâ spent grains). It was not possible to select a unique raw material for the release of highest levels of both total phenols and cellulose.
- Agro-food wastes
- Antioxidant capacity
- Phenolic compounds
- Waste Management and Disposal