Scientists create new alcohol called ‘sachi’ from tofu whey

Scientists in Singapore have developed a new “sake-like” alcoholic beverage from the bi-products of tofu and called it sachi.

Vast amounts of tofu are consumed throughout Asia producing large amounts of whey – a bi-product of its production.

When discarded as untreated waste, whey adds to environmental pollution as the protein and soluble sugars in it contribute to oxygen depletion in waterways.

However associate professor Liu Shao Quan and PhD student Mr Chua Jian Yong, from the National University of Singapore (NUS), have successfully found a way of turning this waste into a new alcoholic beverage – sachi – which means ‘bliss’.

The process takes three weeks and involves soaking and grinding soy beans to make soy milk, followed by coagulating it to form tofu and then separating the tofu from its whey.

Sugar and acid is then added to the whey, which is then fermented to form an alcoholic beverage.

Speaking to Business Insider, Chua said: “Very little research has been done to transform tofu whey into edible food and beverage products”.

“I had previously worked on alcohol fermentation during my undergraduate studies at NUS, so I decided to take up the challenge of producing an alcoholic beverage using whey. The drink turned out to be tasty, which was a pleasant surprise.”

Sachi is described as a “fruity” beverage with similarities to sake. The pair are currently looking for industry partners to supply them with tofu whey. 

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