Upgrain and Ceresal ink distribution deal in Austria and Germany for ingredients upcycled from brewer’s grains
07 Feb 2023 --- Swiss start-up Upgrain has concluded an exclusive distribution partnership for Germany and Austria with Ceresal GmbH, a company specializing in distributing plant-based ingredients and raw materials. The agreement relates to new products made from barley-based brewer’s grains.
Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Stefanie Strebel, CEO at Ceresal, explains why the trend for upcycling is crucial to the F&B industry today. “It delivers sustainable ingredients and, therefore, consumer products. Consumers are increasingly aware of the impact of their behavior on the environment and prefer beneficial products in this respect,” she comments.
“Apart from the marketing aspect, it also helps to improve the value creation of the manufacturers, as they can add value to their sidestreams.
Increasing value for raw materials
Notably, Strebel reveals that cost efficiency and increasing the value of the raw materials is also essential for upcycling side streams for production.
“It is also a good time for this partnership to happen as consumer awareness for such sustainable ingredients is increasing and the necessity to use raw materials as efficiently as possible is becoming increasingly important,” she underscores.
Strebel believes Upgrain is “highly innovative regarding the further processing of this sidestream from beer production.”
Until recently, all brewer’s grain went completely into animal feed, which can be seen as a waste of a healthy and local food ingredient.
“We are specialized in the marketing and distribution of plant-based ingredients. This is why our cooperation makes sense.”
Protein and fiber wins
A protein concentrate, a flour and fiber product will be made available from the brewer’s grains.
The protein concentrate has a protein content of about 50% and a fiber content of around 24%. The fiber concentrate has a fiber content of up to 70%. The flour offers a protein content of approximately 30% and a fiber content of around 52%. All products can be provided in an organic and conventional quality.
The malting barley for the production of the products comes from Germany and Switzerland, and the production takes place in a brewery in Appenzell, Switzerland. Production facilities in Germany and other European countries are also being planned.
“We are pleased to have found a dynamic partner in Ceresal with a very large network in the market for the distribution of our products in Germany and Austria,” explains Joel Steiner, founder of Upgrain.
According to Ceresal’s Strebel, the products are “exemplary for sustainability and regionality.”
“As this is a highly innovative ingredient, which is only on the market short term, there are no figures on demand yet,” she adds.
“The opportunities for applications are huge, from meat alternatives, confectionery, bakery and pasta products, to snacks and sports nutrition. The malting process gives the products a very nice aroma and taste. We see great potential for protein, fiber and flour for various applications,” concludes Strebel.
By Elizabeth Green
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