World’s first alcoholic beverage made from tofu whey

A research team from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has successfully turned tofu whey, a liquid that is generated from the production of tofu and is often discarded, into a tasty alcoholic beverage which they named Sachi. The innovative fermentation technique also enriches the drink with isoflavones, which are antioxidants that have many health benefits. The creation of Sachi was initiated a year ago by Associate Professor LIU Shao-Quan and his PhD student Mr CHUA Jian-Yong, who have an interest in sustainable food production. Both are from the Food Science and Technology Programme at the NUS Faculty of Science. “The traditional way of manufacturing tofu produces a large amount of whey, which contains high levels of calcium and unique soya nutrients such as isoflavones and prebiotics. Hence, disposing tofu whey is wasteful. 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 in NUS, so I decided to take up the challenge of producing an alcoholic beverage using the whey. The drink turned out to be tasty, which is a pleasant surprise,” said Mr Chua.