As if we needed more reasons to enjoy wine, researchers at the National University of Singapore have now granted our wishes for a healthy, long life through their creation of a completely novel type of wine that is tasty, but that comes with health benefits too.
Sachi, as the wine is called, is made from soybeans in a process that takes around three weeks to make.
The result is a sweet drink with around 7 to 8 percent of alcohol, with fruity notes and a hint of soy bean. Its creators, Associate Professor Liu Shao Quan and PhD student Chua Jian Yong, claim that the base ingredient, ie. tofu whey, comes with high levels of calcium and nutrients unique to soy, which can make your bone and healthier, as well as preventing cancer.
“Very little research has been done to transform tofu whey into edible food and beverage products. I had previously worked on alcohol fermentation during my undergraduate studies in NUS, so I decided to take up the challenge of producing an alcoholic beverage using the whey.
“The drink turned out to be tasty, which is a pleasant surprise,” Chua said, in a statement.
Tofu is made from curdling freshly boiled soya milk, cooling it and pressing it into a solid block by removing excess water, generating tofu whey. This whey pollutes the waterways when discarded as the protein and soluble sugars in it deplete the oxygen in the waterways. Turning it into wine by adding sugar, acid and yeast makes it into a business-savyy and tasty alternative.
“The health benefits associated with soy products, coupled with changing preferences towards vegetarian diets, have fueled the growth of tofu production. As a result, the amount of tofu whey has also increased proportionally. Alcoholic fermentation can serve as an alternative method to convert tofu whey into food products that can be consumed directly. Our unique fermentation technique also serves as a zero-waste solution to the serious issue of tofu whey disposal,” explained Assoc Prof Liu.
This isn’t NUS’ first food experiment, according to CNet. – previous conco ctions include a virtual cocktail using a device that plays with your senses while you drink and making plain water taste like lemonade just by tricking your mind through using lemonade flavours and colours.
Ordering Sachi at your student union could one day be a reality as Liu’s team has applied for a patent for the process of making Sachi and looking for ways to sell the drinks commercially.