Beer saved grains could help protect coral reefs.
That’s the suggestion from Claudia Condulet, Founder of the startup BELLEJO who spoke to FNZ about the way wasted biomass can be transformed into cosmetic products which are friendly to the marine ecosystem: “Food by-products like beer saved grains is the supply chain of the future for the cosmetics industry.
“We are using from it a bio-polymer called lignin to create a bio-based sunscreen product that is environmentally friendly and good for our bodies. Beer saved grains can be a reliable supply as it’s plenty, it’s cheap and it’s everywhere in the world.”
According to research, saved grains represent 85% of the total waste generated by a given brewery, with a composition of cellulose, protein, lignin, and other components
Coral is thought to get stressed by pollution and changes in temperature, leading to coral bleaching – during bleaching the algae that live on the coral and provide it with food leave or die.
Studies suggest that the organic compounds used in sunscreens can cause coral bleaching, making coral more prone to disease and death.
Mrs Condulet said she was working for a beer company and was looking for a new business idea when she realised that the by-products left after producing the beer contain valuable ingredients that can be used in the cosmetics industry: “The potential was validated by several scientific centres, universities and bio-refineries.
“Cosmetics brands can easily follow sustainability practices by creating products that do not harm the ecosystem, by sourcing their ingredients from the circular economy, where we have tons of discarded food by-products that we can use to extract bio-based ingredients and create products that the end consumer would want to buy.”
She added the company, which has won a European Commission’s StartUp Europe Award, is in the last stage of product development and plans to bring its sunscreen product to the market in summer of 2021.