BERKELEY, CA — ReGrained, a food upcycling platform and snack producer, announced that its SuperGrain+ flour is the first ingredient in the world to receive certification from the Upcycled Food Association.

The US alone generates more than 20 billion lbs of spent grain from beer brewing each year. After the sugar is extracted for brewing, this nutritious grain typically becomes food waste — representing a significant environmental footprint. ReGrained utilizes its patented technology, co-developed with the USDA, to safely rescue this food supply and craft ReGrained SuperGrain+, an innovative and versatile ingredient for use in baked goods and beyond. SuperGrain+ delivers a minimum of 3.5-times the fiber and twice the protein of whole grain flours. Every pound prevents the carbon dioxide equivalent of burning 1 lb of coal and saves more than 300 gallons of water.


“We are honored to achieve the first upcycled ingredient certification and are excited to support our partners in developing certifiable finished products,” states Dan Kurzrock, ReGrained CEO. “Nearly 35% of the world’s food is lost or wasted, which generates 8% of greenhouse gas emissions and poorly uses our planet’s precious resources,” he continued. “Bringing tasty and nutritious upcycled foods to every aisle of the grocery store combats this global issue. ReGrained has been leading the way since we baked our first loaf of upcycled bread in 2011 and will continue for decades to come.”

SuperGrain+ was the first of many ingredients developed for ReGrained’s food manufacturing and foodservice customers, with others including oats from milk production and pulp from juicing. Collaborating with these partners in its Upcycled Food Lab — from product concepting and menu strategy to prototype development and unmatched category expertise — ReGrained has become a viable innovation platform for companies around the world.

In the following Q&A, Kurzrock shares what the product development looked like behind the scenes and how food manufacturers can break into the upcycling trend to meet consumer demands for sustainability and nutrition.

What did ReGrained have to consider during the R&D process for its SuperGrain+ flour?

On the supply side, ReGrained’s key innovation was in how to safely and efficiently process the “spent” grain rescued from the breweries in order to elevate them into something “super.” After being used to brew, the grains still retain significant nutrients but have an incredibly high moisture content, rendering them both unstable and operationally difficult to process. So, there is all this latent value locked up in a resource that is unfit for traditional food-grade supply chains.

“Nearly 35% of the world’s food is lost or wasted, which generates 8% of greenhouse gas emissions and poorly uses our planet’s precious resources. Bringing tasty and nutritious upcycled foods to every aisle of the grocery store combats this global issue.” —Dan Kurzrock, CEO of ReGrained


This is where we come in. We developed our upcycling technology through a collaborative research partnership with USDA. Together, we patented our breakthrough, and ReGrained has commercialized it. We’ve discovered that our invention can also be applied to other byproduct streams, such as plant-based milk byproducts like oats. Our patented tech can be understood as a modern take on value-added processing. If you think about pickling, canning, preserves — those techniques were developed to extend the shelf-life of a crop. Our technology also extends the life of a crop; ours is just harvested from breweries (and other manufacturers) instead of the field.

On the demand side, we actively collaborate with leading global food brands through our Upcycled Food Lab. These “Powered by ReGrained” projects span products in every aisle of the grocery store. Our Upcycled Food Lab helps create products supported by health and environmental claims quickly from concept to market, with flexible services tailored to the needs and capabilities of our partners. For some, we offer full cycle support, others simply purchase our ingredients.

How did your team determine where to “rescue” these spent grains from brewing? What kind of partnerships were created in the process?

The scale of supply is staggering. It takes one pound of grain to make one 6-pack, which equates to tens of billions of pounds annually on a national scale. We work with breweries that produce packaged beer, from craft breweries like Fort Point in California to macro-brewers like Molson Coors. This approach helps us ensure consistent supply inputs and, thus, consistent ingredient output.

In some cases, our partnerships extend beyond supply. We are working on a few projects with breweries to help them create co-branded food products, which can tell a great sustainability story. We also have several craft brewery owners as investors and strategic investment from Molson Coors. You could say that our approach is to create a systems-level solution to align stakeholders throughout the supply chain and into the shopping cart.


On the supply side, we like to break upcycling into two verticals. Food manufacturers and producers can start by identifying these parts of their supply chain but then take the next step to put them to use, initiate partnerships with other brands and contribute to a circular economy.

  1. Food processing byproducts: This is what ReGrained is focused on. We create new ingredient streams as co-products from inputs that have already been “used” for a first purpose. Brewer’s grains, coffee cherries, cacao fruit, juice pressings, seed/nut meals and more all fit into this category. We always encourage our manufacturing partners to look within their own supply chains and processes for analogous opportunities.
  2. Surplus/rejects: This is your cosmetically “imperfect” fruits and vegetables, overproduction, and more that are available for rescue mostly at the farm level. Historically many of these “seconds” were marketed for juicing/canning and other value-added processing. Today this still happens to a certain extent, but there are also large-scale farms that grow, for example, apples for the express purpose of juicing. This has created a new paradigm for upcyclers to come in.

For more information on upcycling, visit the Upcycled Food Lab.

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