Published on 11 Apr 2024

Turning beer leftovers into nutritional gold

Researchers from NTU Singapore’s Food Science and Technology programme have created a method that extracts over 80 per cent of the available protein in grain leftovers from brewing beer, commonly known as brewers’ spent grain.

Brewers’ spent grain (BSG) is the solid residue from malted barley after brewing beer. It is the most significant byproduct of the beer brewing industry, making up 85 per cent of the total waste. Globally, about 36.4 million tons of spent grain are produced yearly, which are disposed of in landfills or incinerated, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

Not only do the researchers note that BSG proteins are safe for human consumption and of high quality, making them suitable for direct use in supplements and for enhancing the protein content of plant-based foods, but the method would also help cut down on waste and carbon emissions.

The proteins extracted by the NTU researchers were found to be rich in antioxidants, which could not only protect human skin from pollutants but could also extend the shelf life of cosmetics like body lotions and moisturisers. 

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