For sustainable society


Drink that regulates the intestinal environment made from unsold bread

When you visit a bakery just before its closing, you will see that a discount is made on the price. It is a desperate measure which bakeries have to rely on to avoid making unsold stock. Depending on the country and region, the unsold breads are donated to charities or resold for animal feed at a low price.

This food loss issue of breads is a common problem in developed countries. Then, a research team at the National University of Singapore (NUS) published their unique research topic this spring about recycling bread waste. It is about making gut-friendly probiotic drinks using bread. It is a new solution for food loss, which is unbelievable for those who hear about it for the first time.

It may be easy to imagine how to make a probiotic drink made from bread by think of fermenting rice to make sake or making wine from grapes. First, cut a bread into small pieces and mix with water. After pasteurizing the mixture, add the probiotics and yeast and wait for it to ferment. This process, which makes up most of production, takes about one day. The finished drink is creamy, slightly frothy, and sweet, and it can be stored for six weeks at room temperature. 

This bread-based drink was invented by undergraduate students from the NUS Food Science and Technology and has not been named yet. Due to the minor thing of not being able to finish eating one loaf of bread within the expiry date, they started a study to make the leftover something delicious and nutritious. They tried various kinds of bread as raw materials in their research and eventually decided to use bread that was readily available in supermarkets.

By the way, probiotics are living microorganisms that improves intestinal condition. Well-known good-for-you bacteria such as lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria are comprehensively called probiotics. According to the research team, most of the drinks on the market, from which you can ingest these good-for-you bacteria are dairy-based products. Those who cannot take in dairy products due to lactose intolerance and vegans cannot drink them. However, since the drink produced by the NUS team is not dairy-based product, these people also can drink to improve their intestinal conditions.

The research team has already filed a patent for the manufacturing process of this drink and is looking for a partner for realizing the commercialization. This new drink that can meet the needs of the healthy drink market and also be a countermeasure against food loss may be available sometime in the near future.


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