Using their loaf! Kraków startup wows with its revolutionary use of stale bread
A Krakow start-up may have come up with the greatest thing since sliced bread, with its innovative reusing of stale bread, including in 3D printing.
Set up two years ago by Bartłomiej Rak and Katarzyna Młynarczyk, REBREAD is a company on a mission to “save as much unused bread as possible” and transform it from “waste to a raw material that can be reused, saving resources, energy and the environment.”
Originally established in response to the struggles faced by Młynarczyk’s bakery, the company first hit the headlines in 2021, when they successfully managed to transform leftover bread into Vodka, which they christened Okowita.
Since then, the company’s mission has grown and their collaboration with Kraków scientists on laboratory research has led them to developing new uses for stale bread including as a thickener in cosmetics, refreshing natural drinks based on bread acid and known as ‘breadbucha’, biodegradable packaging and perhaps most surprisingly, as a biofilament for 3D printing.
While the company’s use of stale bread for 3D printing made headlines a few months ago, when they first successfully tested the idea in December 2022, their current focus is on transforming leftover bread into new high-protein foods.
Ewa Jarosz, Project Manager of REBREAD said: “The most important thing for us, are solutions which enable the conversion of stale bread into further edible products, in line with the standards of upcycled food – in keeping with the idea of high health benefits, ecological processes of production and the maximum utilisation of the raw material.
“At present we are working intensely on combining the raw bread resource with edible koji mushrooms, which enables the creation of a delicious, high-protein food, without the use of animal-derived ingredients.”
The company’s innovative ideas saw them gain a recent visit from the Dutch Ambassador to Poland Daphne Bergsma, who visited the company’s workshop and laboratory after first spotting them last year at a conference organised at the Dutch Embassy in Warsaw as part of Circular Week.
Bergsma posted after the visit on her Twitter, saying: “Gladly seized opportunity to see female entrepreneurship in #CircularEconomy, using stale old bread for producing tasty fresh bread and soft drinks.”
Katarzyna Młynarczyk, co-founder of REBREAD said: “We are working on solutions which could be used in every location in the world.
“Transporting dry bread from one end of the world to the other in order for it to return again in a transformed form, would generate a too high carbon footprint, which is something we want to avoid.
“That’s why, instead of mass production, we have decided to share our knowledge with our partners, so they can transform the bread themselves, based on their local sources and in this way support their local economies.”