Innovation That Matters

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Is coffee waste a sustainable solution for wellness products?

Food & Drink

Waste grounds are used to create vegan health and beauty ingredients

Spotted: An estimated 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide every year, and the volume of waste coffee grounds produced is equally vast. As the coffee market continues to grow, the challenge of making better use of the industry’s waste will become more complex.  

From a country with a long history of growing coffee comes a biotechnology solution that transforms coffee waste into valuable nutraceuticals and food ingredients. Ethiopia’s Coffee Resurrect uses supercritical carbon dioxide to extract all-natural ingredients from the waste for further use in the cosmetics, health, and food industries. Supercritical carbon dioxide is a fluid with the qualities of both a liquid and a gas that, when used in place of a traditional heating system, greatly increases processing efficiencies. 

The company collects spent coffee grounds from restaurants and cafes. In doing so, Coffee Resurrect reduces the burden on those businesses of sustainably managing their waste while building a new range of healthy, more sustainable products. The company then uses its proprietary processes to turn the coffee grounds into vegan oil, fibre, and flour. The oil supports healthy skin and is suitable for use in a range of skincare products, from sunscreens and moisturisers to scrubs and masks. The gluten-free fibre provides another way of eating healthily with less impact on the planet’s health, as does the flour.  

The new products provide a chemical-free alternative to many of the most common petroleum-based ingredients while also reducing the amount of organic waste in landfill. That can, in turn, decrease the amount of methane released into the atmosphere. As Coffee Resurrect builds its processing capabilities and further expands its R&D facilities, the company plans to introduce additional ingredients including antioxidants, lipids, proteins, sugars, and more.  

From new methods for recycling used coffee pods to making coffee from natural ingredients that do not include coffee beans, Springwise’s database includes a variety of innovations seeking ways to make one of the world’s most popular products healthier for the planet.

Written By: Keely Khoury



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