Associate professor Silas Villas-Boas and doctoral candidate Ninna Granucci stand next to pinot noir pulp

The latest superfood is gluten-free, vegan, high fibre, and zero waste: and it’s made from pinot noir. Greenspot Technologies is a New Zealand start up making flour out of fruit and vegetable pulps. Starting in the research labs of the University of Auckland, the team is now moving to France to develop further after receiving $1.2 million from investors.

The funding will help Associate professor Silas Villas-Boas and doctoral candidate Ninna Granucci test their fermentation technologies and design a manufacturing plant.

“By 2050, the world is expected to need 70 percent more food than we have now,” said Villas-Boas. “You can find new foods such as insects or put money into developing meat alternatives. Instead, we thought, let's focus on reducing wastage of good food."

Globally, industry and consumers waste more than 1.3 billion tons of food every year – and 40 percent of that is fruit and vegetables. The challenge the duo took on was converting the sugars in fruit pulp into a healthy protein.

The range of flours includes pinot noir, sauvignon blanc, apple, carrot, parsnip, orange, and beetroot. “Some of them are as nutritious as milk powder without the fat, sugar, and cholesterol that milk has,” said Villas-Boas. The flours can be used for baking and cooking or as a dietary supplement.

The pulp used comes from juicing factories in Hawke’s Bay and the Villa Maria wineries in Auckland. The food waste used is free from these providers, as otherwise it would go to waste. Villas-Boas said the East Tamaki factory they’re currently using emits only clean water vapour in the process, making it a zero-waste product from beginning to end.