From beer to bread
Flour from beer can save lives
“Access2innovation’s PIVØ program has been a great help for Agrain/Circular Food Technology to get started in Africa. This has made it possible to develop our method, so that we can now also create protein-rich flour from the large quantities of the cereal sorghum, which is left over at African breweries after beer brewing. We are now in dialogue with African breweries so we can up-cycle their used sorghum. We can make flour out of it, which can save many lives.”
This is what co-founder Karin Beukel from Danish Circular Food Technology, who specializes in upcycling residual products from the food industry to new foods, says. Circular Food Technology is behind the forward-thinking brand Agrain, which gives “used grain” new life. It turns into flour that gives exciting flavor notes in baked goods and into ready-made foods such as chips and crispbread.
“We would not have come this far in Africa without PIVØ. We started the project in January 2020 and have now tested how the technology process that has been developed based on sidestreams from Danish breweries will be adapted to Africa, and we are almost done now. When it has gone so fast, it is due to the fact that Access2innovation and one of our investors, Allan Mortensen, has a large network in Africa and knowledge of local business. Allan has been to Kenya several times during the time the project has been running. And then, via Access2innovation’s network, we have opened the doors to a number of specific partners that could be the key to an upcoming rollout. It makes a huge difference to have access to be present locally. At the same time, with the University of Copenhagen, we have continuously adapted the development task in the project, which changed significantly as a result of COVID.
Right now we are hoping to do a close loop with the World Food Program in Kenya soon. They will hopefully buy all the super cereal flour we can create annually from leftover durra from beer brewing locally. Super cereal is flour that is so nutritious that the 5,000 tons we can produce from just one brewery in Kenya will cover the needs of 400,000 children for proteins and amino acids. It will hopefully benefit the local programs for school children, ”continues Karin Beukel.
Circular Food Technology looks like a sure winner at a time when less food waste, more plant-based foods and sustainability are at the top of the food agenda. Since worldwide, approx. 200 billion liters of beer, there will be more than 40 million tons of mash available annually. So the raw material supply is secured for many years to come.
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