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Aussie & Kiwi Beer Drinkers Could Revolutionise Coffee Consumption with Up-cycled Brewery Grains

At a time when climate change threatens to reduce the world’s coffee supply, a remarkably innovative approach to coffee production has emerged. A Singapore-based company, Prefer, has developed a novel concept - a bean-free coffee, utilising up-cycled food waste such as soy pulp, day-old bread, and notably, up-cycled brewery grains.

The initiative not only addresses the sustainability concerns but also opens up an intriguing opportunity for Australia and New Zealand, known for their significant beer production, to contribute to this innovative venture.

Jake Berber a former neuro-scientist is co-founder and CEO of Prefer (in picture left), and his partner, CTO Tan Ding Jie

Jake Berber, a former neuro-scientist is co-founder and CEO of Prefer (in picture left), and his partner, CTO Tan Ding Jie , a food scientist, (in picture right) have taken on the daunting task of tackling climate change's impact on coffee production.

With projections indicating 50% of the land currently used for coffee cultivation may become unsuitable by 2050, coupled with a tripling in demand, the duo's work is not just innovative but necessary. "The solution involves fermenting, roasting, and grinding up-cycled food waste to create a coffee granule mimicking the coffee's taste and aroma without the use of traditional coffee beans", says Jake Ferber via the start-up's website.

The process Prefer employs shows the pure potential of biotechnology in food innovation. By reverse-engineering the flavour molecules found in coffee, Prefer is replicating the coffee experience without the environmental toll associated with coffee bean farming. This not only offers a path forward in the face of climate change but also addresses the issue of food waste.

Australia and New Zealand, are known for their robust beer industries, and could play a crucial role in this bean-free coffee revolution. The spent grains from the countries major breweries could be up-cycled into a valuable resource for coffee production, contributing to a circular economy and reducing waste. This opportunity aligns with both countries' commitments to sustainability and innovation in the agricultural and food sectors.

The bean-free coffee developed by Prefer does not contain caffeine naturally, but it offers the familiar comfort and ritual of coffee drinking. For those seeking the caffeine kick, there is the option to add caffeine powder. This flexibility further enhances the appeal of bean-free coffee as a sustainable alternative in no way compromising the drinking experience.

'We currently have 10 pilot customer coffee chains (in Singapore) with over 200 stores between them. We're disrupting the coffee industry with a bean free revolution, making coffee affordable and sustainable', says Jake Berber.

 PFN Ai whimsical depiction of a coffee with a beer froth on top

Source: PFN Ai whimsical depiction of a coffee with a beer froth on top

As Prefer continues to refine their product and expand reach, the potential for collaboration with Australian and New Zealand breweries creates a unique paradigm of sustainability, innovation, and tradition. This venture not only promises to safeguard the future of coffee in a changing global climate but also redefines what it means to enjoy a cup of coffee, with sustainability at its core.

We recently reported on a NZ start-up turning up-cycled food waste into protein using the fermentation process - Has NZ's Mara Bio Found 'The New Gold' Making Protein From Upcycled Biowaste?

For more information on our bean-less coffee story CLICK HERE



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