The potential of BSG
Brewer’s spent grains (BSG) is the largest by-product of the beer brewing process. For every 100 litres of beer, 20 kilos of grain are discarded as animal feed or as general waste. Out of the 40 million tons of spent grains that are globally discharged every year, we could produce enough calories to cover 8% of all the missing food resources needed just 8 years from now. This raw material has the potential to reduce hunger that already exist in the world today.
Globally, 795 million people are currently classified in a state of permanent hunger, and concern exists for the ever-growing calorie gap. By upcycling spent grains we could re-introduce a nutritious resource back into the food system, and reduce this gap.
At the core of Agrain®'s business are 4 commitments linked to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals:
BSG has the potential to contribute to zero hunger. And we have the ambitions to collaborate in developing countries where we can show breweries the value of upcycling this wasted by-product.
Good Health and Well-being
BSG is high in fibres and proteins, so it’s not only for necessary sustenance, but also a nutritious food for children to increase resistance and growth. It contributes to prevention or recovery of illnesses and every part of the nutritious barley is used.
Clear water and sanitation
BSG initially contains up to 80% water, which is currently also wasted. By separating it from the spent grains, we take care of a valuable source of clean water too.
Responsible Consumption and Production
At Agrain® our mission is to market better food, made with respect for the environment. Each Agrain® product must show there are still valuable alternatives to discarding by-products. In addition, our current production has a lower CO2 emission than similar protein-fibre rich ingredients such as Quinoa and Millet and a substantially lower impact than other protein rich product such as meat, dairy and eggs.
In the first half a year we rescued over 100,000 kilos of brewers spent grains from waste and this number will increase to a yearly 500 ton the future.
To prevent a future food shortage, new sustainable food, as well as new methods of food production are needed.
Circular economy is one of the methods of sustainable food production adopted by leading international companies to counter an increased material scarcity and create a durable supply system.
It is about reducing, reusing and recycling (food) products. BSG can be recycled into flour in an extra cycle of the whole food system. When we add new value to BSG by turning it into a nutritious and flavorful flour, we call it upcycling and it contributes to a circular economy. This makes the food system more efficient, so we are able to feed more people with fewer natural resources and energy. In the long term, this can also create new job opportunities.