Beyond animal feed?: The valorisation of brewers’ spent grain

Simon Bolwig, Michael Spjelkavik Mark, Maaike Karlijn Happel, Andreas Brekke

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A key factor in making progress towards a circular bioeconomy and hence more sustainable patterns of consumption and production is the capture and valorisation of organic residues from industry. In the brewing industry, the large quantities of spent grain produced during the brewing process have spurred interest in developing various valorisation pathways as an alternative to the traditional use of spent grain as animal feed. Spent grain has a high protein content and other nutritional assets, as well as potential as a feedstock in various industries, including food and nutrition, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and biofuels. However, company decisions on how to manage organic residues not only reflect the technical possibilities, but are also influenced by the economic supply chain and regulatory aspects, as well as corporate social responsibility policies and initiatives. In view of this, this chapter investigates the use of organic residues in brewing value chains with a focus on spent grain, and identifies the factors determining existing and alternative management options for this residue. The chapter is based on a multiple case study of thirty-two breweries in Denmark and Norway.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrom Waste to Value: Valorisation Pathways for Organic Waste Streams in Circular Bioeconomies
Number of pages20
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Publication date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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