Whisky waste could feed salmon farms


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.”