Beer brewing dregs to be turned into sugar substitute

Added on 13 Mar, 2006 . There are .

A Canadian scientist has discovered that the dregs from the beer brewing process can be converted into a sweetener and used as a substitute for sugar.

David Bressler, professor of fermentation & bio/food engineering at the University of Alberta, Edmonton has discovered a process that can turn the grain based brewing by-product into xylitol, a sugar substitute.

After a batch of beer is brewed the grain waste, containing wheat, barley etc, is usually sold as cheap animal feed. However with this new process available, recycling the grain by-product into sweetener is seen as a way to produce a high value product from a low base value waste product.

Permolex, an ethanol plant in Red Deer, Alberta uses wheat to create a number of products, leaving a wheat based waste. This waste is also potentially suitable for recycling into sweetener using this process. Permolex are currently investigating the potential of this new process in opening up a completely new business opportunity and increased profits.

Scientists hope that this discovery will have environmental benefits as well as financial ones.

No mention has yet been made of the potentially devastating backlash on people suffering with wheat and gluten (coeliac disease) allergies.