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Researchers have developed a method for turning tofu whey, a liquid generated from the production of tofu, into a tasty alcoholic beverage that they call Sachi.
The innovative fermentation technique also enriches the drink with isoflavones, which are antioxidants that have many health benefits.
“Our unique fermentation technique also serves as a zero-waste solution to the serious issue of tofu whey disposal…”
Tofu, also known as bean curd, is made from soybeans. One of the most common methods of producing tofu is by curdling freshly boiled soy milk, cooling it, and pressing it into a solid block. Tofu whey comes from the pressing process to remove excess water.
When tofu whey is discarded as an untreated waste, however, it creates environmental pollution as the protein and soluble sugars in the whey could contribute to oxygen depletion in the waterways. In contrast, upcycling tofu whey can be a means of generating economic returns for businesses.
Liu Shao Quan and his PhD student Chua Jian Yong, both from the food science and technology program in the National University of Singapore’s Faculty of Science and both of whom have an interest in sustainable food production, initiated the creation of Sachi a year ago.