NUS researchers create Sachi wine from tofu waste

Researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) developed the world's first alcoholic beverage from tofu whey. A patent for a unique zero-waste approach to convert a by-product from the manufacture of tofu into Sachi's isoflavone rich drink.

A team of researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) changed whey or liquid from tofu production and as a waste to become a delicious alcoholic beverage named Sachi. This innovative fermentation technique also enriches the isoflavone content as an antioxidant supplement.

Tinuku NUS researchers create Sachi wine from tofu waste

"The traditional way of making tofu produces large amounts of whey, which contains high levels of calcium and soybean nutrition such as isoflavones and prebiotics," said Chua Jian Yong.

"Throwing out whey is wasteful, but very little research to turn whey into a food and beverage product, I decided to face the challenge of producing alcoholic beverages using whey," Yong said.

Tofu is a popular food made from soy. During the production process will release the excess water where whey knows is created. However, when tofu whey is removed it creates environmental pollution in which proteins and sugars are dissolved in whey causing oxygen depletion in the drains.

"The health benefits associated with soy products, coupled with a change in preference for vegetarian food, have triggered the growth of tofu production," said Associate Professor Liu Shao Quan.

"Alcohol fermentation can be an alternative method to convert whey into a direct consumption product. Our unique fermentation technique also serves as a zero-waste solution," Quan said.

The team takes about three months to create a unique recipe. Sugar, sour and yeast are added to whey tofu and the fermentation is fermented to produce alcoholic beverages. The team also designed a new fermentation technique to utilize whey completely without generating any waste.

The whole process of making alcoholic beverages takes about three weeks. The biotransformation method changes the smell of beany into the aroma of the fruit, the sweetness, and extends the shelf life of whey tofu for up to four months. Isoflavones are transformed into free ones that can be absorbed more easily by the human.