Russian scientists claim to have found a new use from the waste grain left at the end of the brewing process, reports website The scientists have perfected a way to turn distillers’ spent grain into sugar substitute xylitol, which is used in countless products throughout the world including chewing gum and toothpaste. Xylitol has many advantages over other many other sugar substitutes in that it is naturally occurring in nature and has no maximum dosage. Furthermore, it occurs in low levels in the human body as a product, and as it does not require insulin to be metabolised, it is a valuable ingredient for diabetic diets, as well as low sugar products. However, it is expensive to produce and costs twice as much as sugar. In addition, it is made by treating specific wood chips, which are becoming increasingly scarce throughout Europe. The new method, claim the scientists, will produce cheaper, purer xylitol. As by products, it will produce high-quality animal fodder and vegetable protein. There will be no secondary waste. Moreover, the brewing and distilling industries will benefit in that both struggling to meet EU directives surrounding waste disposal and recycling. Europe’s brewing industry generates roughly 3.4m tonnes of spent grain annually, and the EU has just announced a research project targeting the food and drink industry that will look into the environmental implications of food waste. The new technology will be marketed by UK company Aleron. It is now seeking for licensing and joint venture deals.