Scientists have found a new method of extracting protein and fiber from wine waste

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Scientists have found a new method of extracting protein and fiber from wine waste

Today at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Spring Meeting , The researchers showed their latest research results. Professor Haibo Huang, the lead researcher of the project, said: “The wine industry urgently needs to reduce waste.” His team worked with local breweries to find a way to convert surplus food into value-added products.

Yanhong He, a graduate student who also participated in this project, said: “Compared with other agricultural wastes, the ratio of protein in waste grains is very high, so our goal is to find a new way to extract and use it”. In the United States, craft brewing is more popular than ever, and this increase in demand has led to an increase in production, resulting in brewery waste materials, of which 85% are waste grains. This by-product includes up to 30% protein and up to 70% fiber. Although dairy cows and other animals may be able to digest waste grains, it is difficult for humans to digest due to its high fiber content.

In order to convert these wastes into something more practical and valuable, Huang and He developed a new type of wet grinding and fractionation process to separate protein and fiber. Compared with other technologies, the new process is more efficient because the researchers do not have to dry the grain first.

In this process, they tested three commercially available enzymes-alkaline enzyme, neutral enzyme and pepsin, and found that alkaline enzyme treatment can provide the best separation effect without loss A lot of any kind of ingredient. After the sieving step, the result is a concentrated protein and fiber-rich product.

Up to 83% of the protein in the waste grain is recaptured in the protein concentrate. Initially, researchers proposed using the extracted protein as a cheaper and more sustainable alternative to fish meal to feed farmed shrimp. But recently, Huang and He began to explore the use of protein as an ingredient in food to cater to consumers’ demand for alternative protein sources.

Next, the team plans to expand the process of separating protein and fiber components to keep up with the amount of waste produced by the brewery. They are still collaborating with colleagues to determine the economic feasibility of the separation process because the enzymes currently used to separate protein and fiber components are expensive. Huang and He hope to find suitable enzymes and green chemicals to make this process more sustainable, scalable and economical.