Exploring the potential of upcycling craft brewers spent grain in Winnipeg, Manitoba

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Boryen, Marika
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Food upcycling is a circular economy method of reducing food waste by adding value to foods that conventionally would have gone to waste. This project explores the potential of upcycling brewers spent grain (BSG) to human food products in Winnipeg, MB to think global and act local, primarily considering The Paris Agreement, The United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and planetary boundaries. Data was derived from a comprehensive literature review, a website review of 1165 unique Canadian craft breweries, 168 responses to a Canada-wide craft brewer survey, and 12 semi-structured interviews. The data analysis shows that with the current brewer interest, there is sufficient spent grain volumes to upcycle at small scales locally and suggests that large scale/industrial supply is possible with the participation of all local craft breweries. The suggested framework pick-up route would lower spent grain transportation emissions of all local breweries by 25-50%. The final recommendation report concludes that the majority of local spent grain currently goes to animal feed, but Winnipeg does in fact have potential to upcycle BSG locally while minimizing or removing barriers to upcycle for all affected parties, while increasing sustainable operations of local food and beverage companies.
upcycle, BSG, spent grain, food waste, sustainability, circular economy