Some of the waste from the whisky manufacturing process may be converted into a feed for salmon.
Over 500 million litres of whisky are produced in the UK every year. But for every litre produced, there can be 15 litres of co-products generated.
Chemical engineers from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland have been working on developing these co-products into a protein rich food that can be used in salmon and other fish farms.
A pilot trial of the Horizons Proteins project is scheduled for August 2014 in a whisky distillery to assess the economic, nutritional, environmental and chemical engineering processes involved in large scale production of the proteins.
Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) chief executive David Brown said: “Distillery effluent can be damaging, but also contains potentially valuable nutrients and micronutrients.
“The co-products can also be used to produce a microbial biomass which has the potential to be a cheap and sustainable source of protein-rich food.
“The academic team at Heriot-Watt have already been recognised for their excellent work by IChemE’s Food and Drink Special Interest Group.
“Their work and others looking at the microbial treatment of by-products is very exciting and has many potential applications including crude oil recovery, healthcare and in environmental protection like bioremediation of sites affected by heavy metals and other contaminants.”