Microbe Turns Bread Waste Into Useful Compound

Food waste is a big problem, both practically and ethically. According to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, food accounted for more than 21 percent (63 million tons) of U.S. municipal waste in 2018. A significant portion of that waste comes from bread, rolls, and other baked goods. Some bread waste is fed to livestock as a source of carbohydrates and protein, but much of it gets tossed out.

The good news is that an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) team in Peoria, IL, found a way to use bacteria to convert the glucose (sugar) in bread waste into a compound known as 2KGA (2-keto-D-gluconic acid). In turn, 2KGA can be made into valuable compounds such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C), which is used in foods and beverages, supplements, and pharmaceutical and personal-care products.

The useful bacterium is Pseudomonas reptilivora.

To read the rest of the story, please go to: USDA Tellus