How One Startup Is Turning Tofu Waste Into Wine

More and more, brands around the world are applying eco-conscious practices to create their products. The food and beverage industry, for one, is making waves in sustainability, which has become a key value for customers. From repurposing materials to using more environmentally sound technologies to reducing or eliminating harmful ingredients, there are a number of smart, innovative methods companies are carrying out to appeal to the masses.

In fact, the Global Sustainability Study 2021 conducted by Simon-Kucher & Partners found that over the past five years, 85% of consumers have changed their buying habits to prioritize sustainability. Moreover, one-third of consumers are willing to pay a higher price tag for brands that market their conservation efforts.

Clearly, experiencing a more sustainable lifestyle matters a whole lot to people, and companies are following suit to satisfy these wishes. That's why a startup in Singapore is turning a popular fare into a boozy libation by recycling waste byproducts. And, well, if you've ever wondered if wine could be made from tofu scraps, we have some good news for you.

Singapore's SinFooTech makes wine from soy whey

Yep, you read that right! SinFooTech — a portmanteau of Singapore Food Technology — is shaking up the beverage game with a product that has been making global headlines. The product in question is Sachi, a soy-based alcoholic drink made from fermented tofu that would otherwise be thrown out by nearby manufacturers. Sachi has a unique flavor profile that's a bit different from traditional wine made from fermented grapes. The brand claims it tastes similar to sake with naturally floral, fruity notes and boasts a 5.8% ABV level. For comparison purposes, the ABV of grape wines typically ranges between 5.5% and 25%, per MasterClass.

Here's how it all came to be. While a Ph.D. student in the National University of Singapore's Department of Food Science and Technology, Jian Yong, SinFooTech's co-founder and chief technology officer, extensively studied soy whey, an edible byproduct of tofu. He, along with his mentor and a professor, formulated an alcoholic beverage derived from the substance and named it Sachi. From there, a business was born. Euronews reports that the distillery produces between 1,000 and 2,000 liters of the wine each month. According to the company's website, different variations of Sachi are soon to be in the works, including fruit-flavored wines and a nonalcoholic variety.