Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, is working on developing alternative protein sources using saved grains from the brewing process. The company collaborated with EverGrain to develop a technique that allows them to extract proteins and fibers from brewing grains in order to make nutrient-dense components.
“I see an opportunity to combine our brewing infrastructure and expertise with biotech advancements to help address increasing global food and sustainability challenges,” Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Michel Doukeris stated during a recent investor seminar.
EverGrain, which is supported by Anheuser-Busch InBev, debuted earlier this year after a five-year development period. EverGrain turns circularly sourced barley into ingredients that can be used in a number of food and beverage items, including protein shakes and bars, breads, and barley milk, using revolutionary technologies. Take Two barley milk, a completely owned subsidiary of EverGrain, is one brand that uses this method.
Anheuser-Busch InBev is collaborating with startup BioBrew through its innovation arm ZX Ventures, in addition to supporting and supplying EverGrain. Using the global brewer’s fermentation expertise, Anheuser-Busch InBev is assisting BioBrew in scaling up production of alternative proteins. BioBrew is starting with fermenting grain to make plant-based milk products, while the particular protein items it will create are still being researched. According to the business, the possibilities beyond that are limitless.
The EVERY Company (formerly known as Clara Foods), another ZX Ventures company, uses precision fermentation to manufacture animal-free egg protein. EVERY has been fermenting proteins for years, but the ability to generate such proteins at scale has been a hurdle. EVERY’s cooperation with ZX Ventures and its BioBrew team will help the company achieve its aim of producing alternative protein on a similar scale to beer brewing, starting with animal-free egg whites.
“No one in the world possesses as much scaled fermentation knowledge as [Anheuser-Busch InBev]… “The application of biotechnology to food and beverage is expected to be a massive opportunity in the next 10 to 20 years. And the market for alternative fermented protein alone is estimated to reach $22 billion by 2035.” stated Bernardo Novick, the global head of ZX Ventures.
Creating Vegan Eggs And Milk From Beer Waste
Anheuser-Busch InBev isn’t the first company to come up with the concept of repurposing brewing ingredient waste. Canvas, a business, earned over $50,000 on Kickstarter in 2017 to launch its plant-based beverages derived from waste produced during the brewing process. Breweries’ leftover grain is utilized to make a barley-based milk with tastes including Cold Brew Latte, Matcha, and Turmeric Chai.
FUMI, a Dutch startup, produced a vegan egg-white replacer in 2019 utilizing leftover brewer’s yeast, another beer industry waste product. After a four-year research project, FUNI founders Corjan van de Berg and Edgar Suarez Garcia decided to use brewer’s yeast to formulate their vegan egg whites because it was both inexpensive and environmentally friendly—representing a 95% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions when compared to traditional chicken egg whites. “Actually, we believe that if we go down the spent yeast route, we could perhaps undercut egg white prices on an industrial scale,” van den Berg stated.
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