UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Novel Drying Methods for Sustainable Upcycling of Brewers’ Spent Grains as a Plant Protein Source Pratap-Singh, Anubhav; Mandal, Ronit; Shojaei, Maryam; Singh, Anika; Kowalczewski, Przemysław Łukasz; Ligaj, Marta; Pawlicz, Jarosław; Jarzębski, Maciej


Brewers’ spent grains (BSGs) are the most important by-product of the brewing industry and are rich in protein and fiber. However, abundant amounts of BSGs are discarded annually worldwide. This project aimed to employ and compare innovative drying techniques to introduce snacks with protein sources derived from leftover BSGs. This study explored the dehydration kinetics of BSGs and the effect of three different drying methods—oven drying (OD), freeze drying (FD), and vacuum microwave drying (VMD)—on their protein content and functionality. Then, an energy and exergy analysis for the drying methods was given. Accordingly, a snack product (baked chips) using the dehydrated BSGs was developed by a sensory panel study to assess consumer acceptability of the final products. It was found that the VMD process took less drying time (48 min) compared to OD (50 min), with higher effectiveness as a drying process. VMD-treated BSG also showed moderate protein functionality and the highest overall acceptability when used in baked chips. Thus, VMD might be used as a sustainable drying technology for thermal treatment and valorization of BSG. In addition to having implications for dietary health, findings can help improve the economy of the breweries and other industries that deal with the processing of grains by valorizing their process waste and contributing to sustainability.

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