Turning spent grains left over from beer making into a substrate for growing mushrooms had earned an Olds College student business a $20,000 TEC VenturePrize award.
“Traditionally, spent grains used in the production of beer have been looked upon as a waste byproduct,” said Alex Villeneuve, a student in the college’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program and also the owner of Ceres Solutions.
“My research and work has been focused on finding ways to efficiently use this waste in the production of new food products.”
The recycled grains are pasteurized and inoculated with mushroom mycelium, which helps to break down leftover fibre in the grains.
In addition to the prize money from TEC Edmonton, a business accelerator, Villeneuve will also receive mentoring and business plan guidance. He has approached several Alberta breweries about using his process.