ReGrained flour is inaugural recipient of Upcycled Food certification

7 Jul 2021

Upcycled food company ReGrained is the first company in the world to receive the new Upcycled Food Certification for its SuperGrain+ flour. This new certification is awarded by the Upcycled Food Association, which finalized its certification standards in January 2021. ReGrained takes spent beer grains and repurposes them by milling the grain into high-protein, whole-grain flour.

"Nearly 35% of the world's food is lost or wasted, which generates 8% of greenhouse gas emissions and poorly uses our planet's precious resources. Bringing tasty and nutritious upcycled foods to every aisle of the grocery store combats this global issue,” ReGrained CEO Dan Kurzrock said in a statement.

ReGrained flour is inaugural recipient of Upcycled Food certification
Courtesy of ReGrained

In the brewing category alone, the United States generates over 20 billion pounds of spent grain each year. While ReGrained does not alleviate the total amount of food waste from entering the environment, SuperGrain+ flour upcycles “tens of billions of pounds of de-sugared, sprouted ancient grains created annually by the brewing industry,” according to the press release. Each pound of spent grain that is repurposed prevents carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to burning 1 pound of coal and saves over 300 gallons of water.

Upcycling food not only has impressive environmental benefits, but it also has notable financial benefits. Food waste that companies upcycle was worth $46.7 billion in 2019, and this figure is expected to grow 5% annually for the next 10 years, according to a study from Future Market Insights. Part of the accelerant for this growth is the fact that consumers have been repeatedly shown to pay more for products that are sustainable.

With both an environmental and an economic incentive to upcycle, companies have ample incentive to work toward obtaining a certification verifying that its products utilize ingredients that the Upcycled Foods Association defines as ones "that otherwise would not have gone to human consumption, are procured and produced using verifiable supply chains, and have a positive impact on the environment."

Unsurprisingly, there are multiple Big Food corporations that are interested in validating their commitment to sustainability through upcycling. Barry Callebaut has indicated that it is aiming to obtain an Upcycled Food Certification for its WholeFruit Evocao. This chocolate expression uses both the pulp and the pulp juice from the cacao fruit in the production of its chocolate.

While SuperGrain+ flour was the only ReGrained product to earn this certification, the company produces a variety of other upcycled ingredients for food manufacturers, including oats from milk production and pulp from juicing. Going forward, it would not be surprising if the 10-year-old company looks to achieve the same certification status for its range of products as it works to position itself as a leading food upcycling technology and ingredient platform.

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