New technics to use the Brewers spent grain
Barley is the world’s most important cereal after wheat, maize and rice, and is used mainly as an animal feed or as a raw material to produce beer. The residual solid fraction is known as ‘brewers’ spent grain’ (BSG). Wet BSG from a lauter tun contains 77–81% (w/w) water. Due to its high moisture and fermentable sugar contents, BSG is a very unstable material and is liable to deteriorate rapidly due to microbial activity. Disposal is often an environmental problem. BSG remains a potentially more valuable resource for industrial exploitation than the current general use as an animal feed. Indeed, value-added products are increasingly being sought from BSG but information on microbiological safety and its uniformity for use as an industrial feedstock can limit its appeal for exploitation.
The development of new techniques to use this agro-industrial by-product is of great interest; since spent grain is produced in large quantities throughout the year. Although there are a number of feasible uses for BSG, the biggest impediment to its use is the cost of transport (especially of the wet form) and/or drying. More efforts must be directed to to finding alternative economically sustainable drying methods.
The EU is home to around 4500 Breweries that produce 400 hectoliters, which makes our region the second largest beer producers in the world.