Spent Grain Used to Improve Bread, Shows Promise
Beer is often referred to as “liquid bread”, thanks to its nutrition value, and its color. Brewing it is a complex process that creates several by-products. Spent grain (also called brewer’s grain, or draff) is one of them. It is a residue consisting of malt and grains that are left over in the mash-kettle after the mashing and lautering process. Spent grain was until recently used as animal feed, a medium for growing mushrooms or a fertilizer. A recent innovation has turned this residue into a healthier bread.
Spent grain in bread
Researchers at the University of Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, have conceived a new bread recipe using spent grain as one of its ingredients. Given the coarse texture of the product, it has to be milled first. Thus it will have a more palatable texture. The milled grain is mixed with flour, and all other ingredients needed for bread production. Next, it’s baked in the traditional manner. The result is a bread with a deep brown color and some very attractive properties.
“Consuming this bread can have beneficial effects, in the gastrointestinal tract, or in the case of digestive disorders,” researcher Sonia Socaci told the press. “The most interesting of its compounds are the polyphenols, with an antioxidant action, that can protect us from disorders caused by the oxidative stress”.
According to the researchers, the bread has a slight coffee and caramel taste. From a nutritional point of view, it has an attractive profile. It is high in fiber and contains polyphenols, compounds that are beneficial to our health.
Our daily bread
White bread is the most widely consumed variety worldwide, and the least healthy of them all. Whole grain bread is a much better choice. But with the use of spent grain, bread – and other pastries – can become even healthier.