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Tofu for thought: Meet the world's first sustainable soy wine

A glass of soy wine from Sachi
A glass of soy wine from Sachi Copyright AFP
Copyright AFP
By Shivan Sarna with AFP
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A Singapore-based startup is turning wastewater from tofu into sustainable wine.


A pale yellow liquid flows into plastic barrels – wastewater from a nearby tofu factory that a Singapore-based startup is turning into sustainable wine.

SinFooTech, focusing on recycling waste by-products in the food industry, produces about 1,000 to 2,000 litres of soy wine a month from its small distillery at the western edge of Singapore.

The waste is collected and taken to a nearby distillery where brewers add yeast and sugar. The mixture is then put into a tank to ferment for anywhere between two to six weeks.

Brewers must make the wine within a few hours of collecting the soy whey, as the liquid spoils quickly.

The drink, named Sachi, has a 5.8 per cent alcohol content and is similar to cider or dessert wine. But, those who have tasted the beverage billed as the first made from soy whey, say it’s a whole other experience.

"If people expect wine from this, it's not what they're going to get,” says Dannon Har, a writer for Spill Magazine.

“I think it's something that's of its own and people should drink it thinking that way."

How is Singapore leading the way in food sustainability?

Singapore has become a hub for the development of innovative future foods. Start-ups are producing goods ranging from lab-grown "seafood" to dumplings made with tropical fruit instead of pork.

Currently, a 500-millilitre bottle of soy wine sells for 26 euros. SinFooTech is also developing an aged whiskey-like spirit and plans to scale up production through workforce automation.

Watch the video above to see how soy wine is made from tofu wastewater.

Video editor • Shivan Sarna

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