Scientists in Singapore are using a zero waste process to create a probiotic drink out of soy pulp.
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Food scientists from the National University of Singapore have created a healthy probiotic drink using okara – a residue from soy milk and tofu that usually goes to waste. The drink contains a mixture of enzymes, live probiotics and yeast. All of these ingredients contain nutrients that promote good gut health. The creators of the drink are Associate Professor Liu Shao Quan and doctoral student Ms Vong Weng Chan. They created the drink as part of the university’s ‘Food Science and Technology Programme’.
Every year, Singapore discards an average of 10,000 tonnes of okara as food waste. Okara turns bad quickly and produces an unpleasant smell and taste. The scientists had the idea to ferment the ingredient as fermentation is often used to make bland food taste better. Liu Shao Quan said, “Our breakthrough lies in our unique combination of enzymes, probiotics and yeast that work together to make okara less gritty, and give it fruity aroma while keeping the probiotics alive. Our final product offers a nutritious, non-dairy alternative that is eco-friendly.”
The scientists tested recipes, experimenting with 10 different yeasts and four different enzymes until they discovered an ideal taste. The final combination takes one and half days to produce. It also has a minimum of one billion probiotics in each serving. The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics advises that this is the ideal amount of probiotics for gaining the maximum amount of health benefits.