Bioeconomy Food

Eco-efficient malting

Written by: Anneli Ritala — Principal Scientist


Decreasing use of water in production of malt.


Recycling of steeping water.



Anneli Ritala, Principal Scientst, PhD (Pharm), Adjunct Professor
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, Industrial biotechnology

Anneli Ritala in brief

Anneli Ritala’s scientific expertise is in industrial biotechnology – especially in plant biotechnology. She has studied ways to complement enzyme spectrum of malting barley, options to use barley cell cultures and grains as a production vehicle for proteins and currently she is managing sustainability projects related to malting and brewing.

“Even though we have not faced water scarcity in Finland, all global forecasts say that we are going to be in serious problems with fresh water reservoirs already in 2050”, says Anneli Ritala.

Most of the global water stocks are consumed in agriculture, however, it is important to look for water recycling options in all possible sectors from households to industry.

Ritala sums up the outcome of the Eco-efficent malting and brewing project: “Malting is one of the water intensive food industry processes consuming even up to 7000 litres water per ton of malt. Together with Brewing Laboratory Ltd we have shown that the current water purification technologies are suitable for water recycling in malt houses and good quality malt can be obtained with recycled steeping water”.

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