Two researchers from the University of Singapore have successfully developed wine from tofu aka bean curd, and they say it is healthy as well as tasty.
The new wine, dubbed Sachi, has been made from tofu whey – a smelly, liquid bio-product of tofu, according to a release from the university.
Normally, manufacturers treat and discard tofu whey as it can harbour bacteria and pollute waterways. But, in this case, the researchers recycled the waste product, converting it into a tasty alcoholic beverage – and that too without including artificial flavours.
Employing a novel fermentation technique, the researchers mixed sugar, acid and yeast with tofu whey.
Though it took them some three months, the resulting drink from the process was produced without generating any waste. It contains 7-8% alcohol and has a sweet taste, with fruity and floral notes.
"This alcoholic beverage has a refreshing taste, is easy to drink and tastes like sake," said co-creator Chua Jian Yong, a postdoctoral student at the university, in a statement. "Even though it is made from tofu whey, it has a very mild to undetectable soy taste. All the flavours in the drink are derived from fermentation, without artificial flavours or flavour extracts."
There's no word on when the drink will go into mass production, but the novel approach towards recycling a waste product clearly seems promising. Not to mention, tofu also carries some useful health benefits. As CNET says, tofu contains high levels of calcium and unique nutrients which can improve bone health, heart health and even prevent cancer.
"Alcoholic fermentation can serve as an alternative method to convert tofu whey into food products that can be consumed directly," explains Associate Professor Liu Shao Quan. "Our unique fermentation technique also serves as a zero-waste solution to the serious issue of tofu whey disposal."