Old bread is being given a new lease of life as scientists create a ‘secret sauce’ that allows it to be turned into yoghurt, wine and even new bread – all in a bid to tackle food waste
The team turn the old and discarded bread into a platform for yeast to grow in They say this is an alternative to the unused loaves being sent to landfill sitesThe Italian researchers say it could then be used in commercial bakeries Their method could be used by bakeries to recycle their own unused produce
Leftover bread is being given a new lease of life as researchers create a ‘secret sauce’ that lets them turn it into yoghurt, wine and even new bread products.
The team from University of Bari Aldo Moro in Italy are working to take a bite out of food waste – something they say is a growing problem for the environment.
As much as a third of food produced for human consumption is wasted or lost globally every year, according to lead author Carlo Rizzello.
They plan to take bread that may have been destined for landfill, which generates harmful greenhouse gas emissions, and use it as a medium for growing yeast.
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Researchers hope to take bread that hasn’t been sold by bakeries and supermarkets or used by people at home and turn it into a medium for growing yeast. This stock image shows leftover bread turned into a bowl of croutons for soup or salad
The researchers say the yeast produced using their new old bread medium could be used by the same bakeries that produced the bread being thrown away in the first place to create new bread products – rather than buying yeast from other companies
While exact numbers regarding the amount of bread that is thrown away are hard to estimate, it is believed ‘hundreds of tons are wasted daily worldwide’.
They want to use all that discarded dough to feed the very microorganisms needed in food industries such as bakeries, dairy and wine-making.
‘We believe that the introduction of innovative bioprocessing technologies might be the key to unravel the burden of food waste,’ Dr Rizzello said.
The team experimented with more than 40 different kinds of growing conditions to find the best combination for various bacteria, yeast and other microorganisms.
The process involved discovering the right recipe of bread amount, enzymes and supplemental ingredients, as well as the ideal time and temperature for incubation.
The goal was to create a wasted bread medium (WBM) that would match or beat current production methods that rely on raw materials.
The scientists formulated a secret sauce using 50 per cent waste bread that was appetising to a wide variety of microorganisms, including yoghurt bacteria.