From turning wine waste into leather, your go-to bottle of chardonnay has come full circle. A team from the National University of Singapore has brewed up a curd-based wine made with every vegan’s BFF — tofu.
[Researchers] employed yeasts to ferment the waste product just like what winemakers do to make your favorite bottle of red or white. Amino acids and minerals found in tofu whey help foster the growth of yeast in the process.
The wine, dubbed Sachi, is entirely sustainable, as the fermenting process produces no waste. Producing Sachi requires a substantial amount of time and tedious storage procedures. With that in mind, its inventors are on the fence about its mass production. Still, the unusual drink is unexpectedly tasty.
“This alcoholic beverage has a refreshing taste, is easy to drink and tastes like sake,” said co-creator Chua Jian Yong… “Even though it is made from tofu whey, it has a very mild to undetectable soy taste. All the flavors in the drink are derived from fermentation, without artificial flavors or flavor extracts.”
While there has yet to be any word on Sachi becoming commercially available, us wine enthusiasts remain hopeful.
If there is one habit that pub regulars can’t seem to kick, it’s cracking open a cold one. Now that beers are becoming healthier, it seems no one has a reason to quit the drinking game. In fact, scientists in Singapore are experimenting with using brewery waste to grow beer yeast.
In beer making, yeast is the key ingredient for fermentation, a process where sugars from the grains are converted into alcohol. The beer brewing process thus needs large amounts of yeast.
Spent grain amounts to as much as 85 per cent of a brewery’s waste. This is of little value, so the discarded grain is often used as compost or for animal feed.
But it looks like potbellies will have to feed on something else in the meantime. Professor William Chen of Nanyang Tech has developed a conversion process that turns brewery waste into a valuable liquid nutrient.
“About 85 per cent of the waste in brewing beer can now be turned into a valuable resource, helping breweries to reduce waste and production cost while becoming more self-sustainable.”
I guess it’s safe to say that in the brewery world, nothing goes to waste.
If there is a better, cleaner, and faster way to make something, it’s probably the way to go. Synthetic wine is proving just that. The process uses no grapes but it just as tasty as any Sauvignon. Now, the brewing industry is following suit with Toast Ale craft beer, made from wasted bread.
Since Toast Ale launched in the U.K. in 2016, it has saved a total of 11 tons of bread from becoming trash there. In July 2017, Toast Ale expanded to the United States… By this time next year… Toast Ale will be saving 907 kilograms of bread a month in New York City alone, nearly 12 tons a year.
While the process may sound unusual, it has actually been common practice for some 7,000 years. Toast Ale works with existing breweries to avoid the hassle of building an entirely new facility. Also, the bread they work with is far from bad — so why have they been discarded?
Supermarkets demand that produce look a certain way, forcing suppliers to throw out perfectly good produce. Because the cost falls on the supplier, supermarkets are not incentivized to help reduce waste.
While I am throwing said markets some serious side eye, it’s businesses like Toast Ale that make living sustainably dough-able.
Ava Winery took the first step towards eco-friendly alcohol by creating synthetic wine. It seems sustainable distillery Misadventure and Co. are following in its footsteps by filtering Vodka made with food waste.
Once a week, it collects about a thousand pounds of bread products that a local food bank would otherwise throw out… “We get Twinkies, Ho Hos, French baguettes, crullers, you name it,” [says] co-owner Whit Rigali. “The whole bakery aisle goes into our vodka.”
Normally, Vodka is sugar from fermented starch. Using bread isn’t much different. The ingredients are first combined into a large blender and mashed into a porridge-like consistency. The distillery then adds yeast and moves on to the distillation process. The result? A pretty darn good Vodka.
“If food waste were a country, it would be the third largest contributor of greenhouse gases behind the United States and China,” [co-owner] Chereskin says. “In 2014, the amount of food wasted could fill the Empire State Building 90-some times.”
Expired Twinkies may not sound like an appetizing component of any cocktail — but it sure is unique.
Artificial is the new authentic, and Mother Nature seems to agree. If lab-grown seafood can taste just as good as the real deal, why can’t synthetic wine? According to Ava Winery, their grape-less recreation is grown molecule by molecule — and it tastes pretty awesome.
“Our goal is to be able to scan and print wines the same way you can scan and print priceless family photos. Ultimately, this technology will also allow us to make better, cleaner, faster wines with less impact on the environment.”
The process incorporates chromatography and spectrometry, which allows users to determine components of different wines. Creating the wines is similar to following a recipe without any environmental risk factors.
“Every year is a great year for these wines because they’re not at risk to changing climate, crop disease, or contamination… These wines significantly reduce agricultural water requirements, as well as the presence of pesticides and heavy metal contaminants in the products.”
The products remain fresh even after being opened and can remain in storage for long periods of time. Ava Winery hopes to have an initial Moscato, Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir in the market in the next year. Cheers to that!