From old bread to new yarn

Researchers at the University of Borås in Sweden developed a method to create yarn using waste bread and fungi.

Bread waste takes up a large part of general food waste. In Sweden alone, the total annual bread waste is 80,400 tonnes, amounting to 350 loaves per minute that are wastes. This is why the researchers focused on bread waste, to see if they could turn the bread in a new product.

To make the yarn, filamentous fungi are grown on bread waste in bioreactors. When the bread has become a biomass of fungi, the protein is removed, which can be used as food or animal feed. The remaining cell wall fibres of the fungi are then used partly to spin a yarn and partly to create nonwoven fabrics.

The researchers already di a large art of the cultivation and are currently working on a wet spinning process to create yarn, as well as testing different methods to improve the yarn’s properties.

The fungi yarn shows some antimicrobial properties, and are biocompatible.

The researchers aim to transform the fungi yarn into clothing or use it for medical applications.

In addition to researchers in resource recovery and textile technology at the University of Borås, KTH, RISE Innventia and Sahlgrenska University Hospital are also included in the project.

Photos: University of Borås