In Switzerland, breweries generate more than 80'000 tons of spent grain every year, which is the main byproduct of the beer industry. As the brewing process exclusively extracts sugar, many nutrients are left in the brewer's spent grain (BSG), the malted cereal (mainly barley) that has been grounded and cooked to make the beer. Today, this byproduct is barely used for human consumption and does not bring added value to the brewer.
The last few decades testify that people are progressively shifting towards a plant-based diet around the globe. In 2020, there were more than 3,2 million flexitarians in Switzerland. Globally, customers tend to attach more importance to healthy, eco-friendly, and ethical food products. The European plant-based meat and dairy alternatives food market is expected to reach EUR 7.2 billion by 2025. At a national level, the leading food retailers are expanding their vegan and vegetarian-certified product offerings.
Given the increasing demand for sustainable meat and dairy substitutes, manufacturers must adapt and find solutions to offer alternatives that fulfill the needs of their customers.
At ProSeed, we are producing a plant-based & polyvalent protein concentrate for food manufacturers who want to offer sustainable, high-quality, and modern products to their own customers. Unlike other imported and highly processed plant-based protein sources, our ingredients will allow producing Swiss-made and upcycled protein powder ingredients extracted from side streams of the brewing industry.
ProSeed develops and implements a regenerative process with minimal environmental impact. It enables the valorization of BSG into a high-value-added ingredient. This protein ingredient aims for food manufacturers who integrate it into their recipes. Our Project merges technology and a circular approach to upcycle side streams and maximize the nutritional value of the food we produce and eat without cultivating any additional land.
Since beginning the First Ventures program at the HEI-VS, we took advantage of the opportunity to work in the laboratory and the pilot hall to develop our prototype. Sharing and collaborating with the school's collaborators also brought significant added value to the project.
The protein concentrate obtained through our extraction process has shown encouraging and promising results. The tests and analysis carried out allowed us to obtain different kinds of powders with various protein contents.
We actively collaborate with a brewery to collect part of their BSG to supply our research. We also worked with multiple subcontractors to perform specific steps of our process. Furthermore, we provided students with two practical cases as their “travaux pratique”.
We produced protein-rich bread to test our protein concentrate in a finished product.
In March 2022, we started a pilot experiment with a bakery to test our prototypes. During the summer of 2022, we partnered with a company specialized in the food supply chain to help us identify partners. We are now setting up the production chain with different local subcontractors. We also started a life-cycle analysis of the impact of our production process.
Production partners were identified, and tests are being conducted. The tests with our main partners are successful, and they want to deepen our collaboration.
First market tests with a semi-industrial bakery are running. During a month, a protein bread made with our ingredients will be made and sold in Valais (15 shops, 3000 loaves of bread planned over the month).
The incorporation of the company is in progress and we will shortly start selling our product.
By improving the technical features and the functionalities of the protein, ProSeed will then be able to target new types of applications.
In the future, ProSeed would like to further develop its expertise in nutrient extraction and deepen its focus on the techno-functionalities of our proteins. We aspire to expand our product portfolio and activities to new sectors and applications while contributing to a more sustainable and transparent food system.
Persons involved in the project
Last update to this project presentation 15.12.2022