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Discarded food accounts for 8-10% of greenhouse gas emissions and costs the global economy $940 billion per year. Upcycling surplus food is therefore critical to decarbonizing the food supply chain and curbing its massive appetite for water and deforested land.

Terra Bioindustries has developed a negative-emissions platform for upcycling brewer’s spent grain, a beer byproduct that is often difficult to sell. The company uses a low-energy enzymatic process to separate it into edible sugars and proteins which are then sold to food manufacturers and precision fermentation companies. The process relies on commercial equipment found in most food processing facilities, meaning adoption is inexpensive.

Today, Terra sources spent grain from microbreweries and one multinational brewer. The company has also partnered with a global food processor and a baked goods conglomerate to bring its upcycled ingredients to market. In addition, Terra is working with a major ethanol producer to upcycle spent corn using the same technology.

Terra co-founders Steve George, PhD, and Ricardo Martinez have over 20 combined years of experience as bioprocess engineers. Beer byproducts are just the beginning for their team. There’s another 1+ billion tons of discarded food waiting to be upcycled into valuable calories.