Want to fight food waste? Recycle instead of throwing away - Rebread saves bread by converting it into a KRAST drink

Another product made from saved bread

"It suits me very well, it tastes like dry champagne" comments one customer just after tasting the liquor prepared by our the REBREAD team.

The sunny colour of the liquid in the glass attracts those interested. The appearance is somewhat reminiscent of freshly pressed juice with a snow-white foam. 

It is a drink made from stale bread. It may come as a surprise at first, but it is not a modern invention, but something that has been with people in this part of Europe for centuries.

Kvass bread drink, as it is referred to, is the result of fermenting bread with a natural baker's sourdough starter and water. After just a few days, an effervescent and pleasantly refreshing drink can be obtained.

There is, however, something special about the one REBREAD serves us that makes it stand out from other drinks of its kind. For the fermentation of the kvass bread drink, we uses KRAST, bread saved from being thrown away. So everyone who drinks a glass of kvass bread drink contributes to the fight against food waste.

KRAST - dried and crusted saved bread

In most cases on the market, the production of kvass bread drink is based on malt concentrates rather than classic fermentation, which unfortunately results in poorer health-promoting properties of the drink. As a result, this genuine and traditionally prepared beverage is hardly available and the drink itself is not very popular. This is a pity, because sourdough is the drinking quintessence of healthy, artisanal bread and the perfect solution for unused bread, and thus a way to reduce wasted food. So why not return to this custom on a wider scale?

The kvass bread drink prepared by REBREAD is a natural source of probiotic bacterial strains, B vitamins, antioxidants, polyphenols and organic acids. It contains naturally occurring sugars. The sunny colour is the result of natural ingredients, not artificial colourings. Once the fermentation process is complete, you get a drink with the flavour of crusty homemade bread. If you want to impart other flavours, at the end of fermentation you can enrich the base with additives such as herbs or fruit. It all depends on the idea and our tastes.

Tasting of the new REBREAD dring in HANDELEK bakery

The beverage is currently being served at Krakow's HANDELEK bakery, owned by Katarzyna Młynarczyk and Bartek Rak of REBREAD.

Two 15-litre kegs are waiting there for customers to taste. The one with the natural flavour is being bottled now, the next one will be in mint and turmeric flavours. All as part of a taste-testing phase to choose the best direction and refine the recipe. By filling in a short questionnaire, you can share your impressions and your own suggestions.

Those who would like to purchase an kvass bread drink to take home will also have the opportunity to do so. 

For more than a year, we have been working intensively to gather, refine and organise all the possibilities in which rescued bread can be used. At the end of 2022, a bread-based biofilament for 3D printers was successfully created. We are also working on cosmetics, but food products are the biggest priority.

"It is important to look for solutions according to the principles of the hierarchy of dealing with surplus food, so first, right after reducing production and redistribution, we should process food into products suitable for human consumption. Only then to animal feed or cosmetics," emphasises Ewa Jarosz, Rebread's project manager in charge of coordinating the start-up's research and products.  "We know that bread can be used in the production of biogas or fertilisers, but according to the principles of the Food Waste Pyramid system, it is food products, and in this case kvass bread drink, that have priority."

Among other things, bread is a source of carbohydrates (starch), protein (gluten), B and E vitamins and other valuable micronutrients (iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium). It also has binding, thickening and cohesive properties. All this makes bread great for upcycling, as it can be used to create a diverse range of products.

Currently, the Rebread lab is working on a breadbucha, or cambouche, but not based on tea, which is imported from far away, but local, saved bread. The results of further efforts will appear in a few weeks.

The finished recipe for REBREAD's kvass bread drink will be shared with all those interested in their own production, including under their own brand, if that is their wish.

"We are a micro-manufacturer and have no plans to enter industrial production. Our aim is to research, study and develop formulations and product strategies and then license our know-how to others, sometimes even under open licences." explains Bartłomiej Rak

Anyone who is curious about taste, but above all committed to climate initiatives and the fight against food waste, is invited to a tasting at HANDELEK at 9 Ślusarska Street.

The point is open from Wednesday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

You are welcome!