Innovation That Matters

Your wine and cheese nights could soon be completely vegetarian | Photo source Camille Brodard on Unsplash

Invasive weed turned into wine and cheese

Food & Drink

Researchers used fresh leaves from the Bidens pilosa in the production process, saving time and money

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Spotted: Scientists from one of Russia’s largest universities have discovered a plant enzyme to replace the animal version often used in wine and cheese production. The enzyme is from a commonly found flowering weed called Bidens pilosa, a plant native to the Americas. The researchers from South Ural State University used fresh leaves from the plant to break down biological proteins. The process was faster than when animal enzymes were used, which is a promising result that could promise savings for multiple industries, both in time and money.

Often used for its medicinal purposes, the Bidens pilosa plant is also highly invasive agriculturally. If demand is high, regions fighting the effects of the plant could reap unexpected financial rewards with the removal of the plant.  

Biotech applications for the plant-based enzyme could be substantial, with uses ranging from laundry detergent to leather production and pharmaceuticals. The research team plans to continue developing their understanding of the plant’s potential uses by increasing the efficiency of the fermentation process and considering the potential of other parts of the plant, such as its roots, stem and flowers.

Biotechnology is an exciting space, with advances happening in myriad ways. Springwise has spotted a test that allows companies to confirm the provenance of products and a new method for converting the carbon in methane into proteins used to supplement fish and poultry food.

Written by: Keely Khoury

Explore more: Food & Drink Innovations | Sustainability Innovations



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