A team of researchers at the University of Singapore has patented a method to make a drink from unsold bread: it is the first time in the world.
In Italian cuisine there are a thousand recipes to recycle stale bread and reduce waste to a minimum. No one, however, had ever thought of “recycling” bread as a beverage. At least until now. A team of food technologists from the National University of Singapore has developed (and patented) a process that makes it possible to make a drink from unsold bread. The result is a creamy drink that is pure white in colour and rich in microorganisms that are good for the intestine. The developers speak of it as a product with a pleasant, slightly sparkling and sweet taste. It is currently the only bread-based probiotic drink. It can be stored at room temperature for up to six weeks, keeping probiotic counts alive for maximum health benefits. The research team behind the patented “zero waste” process consists of Associate Professor Liu Shao Quan, Dr. Toh Mingzhan and Dr. Nguyen Thuy Linh of NUS Food Science and Technology.
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The world’s first bread drink
To make the drink, the Singapore team tested different types bread and decided to focus on the white bread for sandwiches commonly available in supermarkets. It took the researchers nine months to perfect their “recipe”. To create the probiotic bread drink, the white bread is first cut into small pieces and mixed with water until a dough is obtained. The resulting mixture is pasteurized, enriched with probiotic bacteria and left to ferment for 24 hours. “Most probiotic drinks are milk-based and therefore not suitable for people with lactose intolerance. Our bread-based probiotic drink is not milk-based, which makes it an interesting option for this group of consumers,” Dr. Toh explained.
The Singapore team has filed a patent for the production process of the bread-based probiotic drink. They are now looking to work with industry partners to market the drink. “There is currently a lack of non-milk based probiotic food and drink options on the market, so our new refreshing and healthy product will help fill this gap. Our invention also allows bread makers to breathe new life into their unsold products. We are confident that the bread-based probiotic drink will have a strong appeal for the environmentally conscious,” said Assoc Prof Liu.
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