Gluten-free flour from spent coffee grounds snags Mondelēz’s first SnackFutures ‘Shark Tank’ award

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Annually, the spent coffee grounds sent to landfill create the equivalent amount of methane to 16.3 million car emissions, according to Kaffe Bueno. Pic: ©GettyImages/dla4
Annually, the spent coffee grounds sent to landfill create the equivalent amount of methane to 16.3 million car emissions, according to Kaffe Bueno. Pic: ©GettyImages/dla4

Related tags Mondelez coffee flour Methane Kaffe Bueno Innovation Startup company Gluten-free fortified

Mondelēz International announced the two winners of its first SnackFutures ‘Future of Snacking’ pitch competition at the Seeds & Chips annual Global Innovation Summit held in Milan, Italy, from May 6-9 2018.

Kaffe Bueno and In-CodeTechnologies were recognized for their innovative snacking solutions to help support a healthier planet.

Kaffe Bueno is a Denmark-based start-up that upcycles spent coffee grounds into oils – essentially targeted towards skin care, but also suitable for use as a sweetener, natural colorant and preservative in foods and beverages – and a coffee flour, which can be used to fortify baked goods.

​The used coffee grounds are sourced from cafés and hotels in Copenhagen, after which an innovative biotechnology process extracts the oils to leave behind a naturally gluten-free flour.

According to the company, the coffee flavour is mostly lost along with the oils, but the flour has a nutty, caramel, chocolatey taste.

Reduce methane, create value-add product

In 2018, nine billion kilograms of coffee are ‘consumed’ around the world, yet only 1% of the beneficial compounds were actually ‘used’. The remaining 99% is spent coffee grounds currently treated as waste, which usually ends up in landfills where it decomposes and creates methane.

These spent grounds are packed with bioactive compounds that studies have shown to have anti-proliferative, antioxidants, and antimicrobial effects.

Kaffe Bueno claims its coffee flour contains three times the protein per gram than almond flour, less calories than buckwheat flour, less fat than coconut flour, more fiber than wholegrain wheat flour and more potassium than a banana.

“Being part of this experience was extremely valuable as it allows us to share, and get input, on our ideas for business from global companies like Mondelēz International that have the expertise and willingness to help us make a bigger impact on the world,”​ said Juan Media, co-founder of Kaffe Bueno.

Food safety

The other winner of the pitch competition was In-CodeTechnologies, an emerging technology used to create edible, in-product traceability markers designed to improve food safety and increase consumer trust in the food supply.

“Sustainability is an innovation priority for SnackFutures because it's what consumers want. As the world's snacking leader, we're committed to growing our business and making our snacks the right way, with positive impact for people and planet,”​ said Brigette Wolf, head of SnackFutures Innovation.

“We were blown away by the commitment, creativity and passion shown by all six of the contestants and we’re excited about the opportunities they are opening up for the future of snacking.”

The contest was conducted in collaboration with Food Tank, a non-profit thinktank and leading global voice on creating a more sustainable food system.

The two winners have won the opportunity to participate in an innovation acceleration workshop with Mondelēz International's experts.

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