University students turn Tequila waste into flour

They’re combating the massive amount of pollution caused by the tequila industry.

Students at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México have turned agave residue into flour, helping to decrease the waste produced by the Tequila industry, as reported by Excelsior.

In Mexico, the Tequila industry produces 1,732,000 tonnes of tequila waste each year, making the students’ work incredibly important.

The project, named Mayahuel, is led by Dení Grisel Cruz García and Rusty Ramírez Cos, both biology students, and aims to turn the residue into edible food. Products that will be made from the flour include bread, pizza and biscuits, though the students will need to secure financing first.

In the Tequila making process, the leaves of the agave are removed, leaving the ‘heart’ or piña which is then cut up and placed in an oven to release the starch. This is then squeezed, and the juice is fermented and distilled to create Tequila and mezcal.

The excess, which contains sugars and nutrients, is often burned by the producers, creating huge amounts of CO2 pollution.

Mayahuel hopes to create a flour full of nutrients, which will have numerous health benefits. As it will be high in fibre, it will aid digestion, and it will also be gluten free.

The students need 35,000 pesos (£1,421) to acquire the equipment needed to dehydrate and pulverise fresh residue, (which is when it has the most nutrients) in order to make the flour.

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