Startup to launch plant-based beverage line using leftover barley from breweries

Canvas aims to be a source of plant-based "sustainable nourishment," co-founder and CEO says.

US beverage startup, Canvas, has developed a way to convert unused grain leftover from the beer brewing process into a line of sustainable plant-based beverages.

The beverages will be available in retail locations starting in Fall 2017, the company said.

Canvas debuted on Kickstarter earlier this year and has almost doubled its original $25,000 fundraising goal. “Backers” of Canvas will receive the plant-based beverage for half the suggested retail price once the campaign ends on August 31, 2017.

During the brewing process, barley is milled and mashed to separate out the starch used to make the beer behind large amounts of fiber and protein byproduct known as “spent grain.” The leftover protein and fiber is also highly perishable, often leaving brewers without a viable way of using the leftover grain, the company said.

This process amounts to roughly eight billion lbs. of spent grain each year, the equivalent of 3.2 billion lbs. of unused protein and 2.4bn lbs. of fiber, according to the company.

Canvas founders, Sarah Pool and Jason Stamm, saw an opportunity to convert the spent grain into “saved grain” by incorporating the byproduct into a sustainable plant-based beverage with protein and fiber content while also tackling the global issue of food waste.

“The beverage is a new frontier in sustainable nourishment,” Pool said. “Our goal is to turn as much spent grain into ‘saved grain’ as possible to expand access to better nutrition for everyone.”

Nutritional benefits of barley

It took the startup’s team of food scientists 12 months and dozens of prototypes to develop a fermentation process that would save the grain and unlock its nutritional benefits for consumers.

“Barley is also known for its superior nutritional qualities such as a rich source of dietary fiber like beta-glucans and arabinoxylans,” Pool added.

Each bottle of Canvas provides nearly half the daily value of fiber (11 to 15 grams per bottle), seven to 10 grams of plant protein, and medium-chain fatty acids (from coconut). The beverage also contains other ingredients such as cashews, coconut milk, pea protein, and chicory root extract.

The soon-to-be-launched line comes in 12-ounce bottles will be available in five flavors including original, cold brew latte, cocoa, turmeric chai, and matcha. All varieties are free from refined sugar, dairy, and artificial ingredients.

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