Cutting back on food waste by making tofu wine

Tofu is a food product made from bean curd that is much beloved by lovers of Asian cuisine as well as vegetarians. Tofu is packed with protein and, albeit bland by itself, goes with just about everything, both savory and sweet.

However, the production of tofu creates a great deal of tofu whey, which tends to get discarded into the environment, causing more food waste as well as pollution. Untreated soy whey consumes oxygen from water if left untreated. However, according to the LA Times, all of that may be about to change, thanks to the efforts of researchers at the University of Singapore.

The researchers have found a way to take soy whey and create an alcoholic drink with it. The process, which takes about three weeks, involves adding sugar, yeast, and acids to the whey and creating a fermentation process.

The result is a drink that tastes similar to sake, a Japanese beverage that is created from rice. Tofu wine is called "sachi," and it is packed with prebiotics, antioxidants, and calcium. The alcohol content is a little more than a standard pint of beer. However, sachi appears to be as healthy as a glass of red wine when taken in moderation, of course.

Now the trick is setting up a system to produce sachi on a commercial scale and creating a world-wide market for the drink. The last part should be easy, considering how much acceptance tofu has gained over the years. A glass of tofu wine tastes much better than the solid variety, by all accounts.