The maker of Budweiser beer plans to upcycle leftover barley to manufacture alternative egg whites.

The Anheuser-Busch InBev-backed EverGrain will ferment the brewery byproduct, a process the company says requires limited water use, emissions and land use, while also ensuring better nutrition and taste.

“Our unique barley ingredients will transform plant-based products, delivering better tasting and more nutritious options to consumers who seek a healthier and more sustainable future,” EverGrain’s founder Greg Belt said in a statement.

Most plant-based eggs currently on the market use peas, tofu or soya, although I’m aware of a growing trend in upcycling or transforming discarded or low-value organic waste to produce poultry feed

Beer byproduct yields high protein yields

Although barley itself contains only 10% protein, the byproduct has a much higher yield.

"Up until a few years ago, what we did was take this barley malt, ferment, and produce beer. In the fermentation process, the yeast takes all the starch or the carbohydrates from the barley and leaves the grain that is very rich in protein and fibers," Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Michel Doukeris said in an interview

"Through technology, especially biotech technology, we were able to do a separation with the fiber and the protein, and now we have an amazing amount of protein — that is very high-quality protein without any carbohydrates — that we can sell."

Further expansion into plant-based food planned

In an investor day held earlier this month, the company revealed that it is looking at ways to better monetize the byproducts of barley brewing, specifically through further expansion into the plant-based food market.

"I see an opportunity to combine our brewing infrastructure and expertise with biotech advancements to help address increasing global food and sustainability challenges," Doukeris explained.

The plant-based foods market is set to make up 7.7% of the global protein market by 2030, with a value of $162 billion, according to a recent report from Bloomberg Intelligence