The Use of Tofu Whey from Food Industry Waste in Podological Care

Research Article

Austin Chem Eng. 2023; 10(2): 1102.

The Use of Tofu Whey from Food Industry Waste in Podological Care

Joanna Igielska-Kalwat1,2*; Ewa Kilian-Pieta1,2

¹Faculty of Cosmetology, University of Education and Therapy, Poland

²Symbiosis Laboratory, Poznan Science and Technology Park, Poland

*Corresponding author: Joanna Igielska-Kalwat Faculty of Cosmetology, University of Education and Therapy, Grabowa 22, 61-473 Poznan, Poland. Email: [email protected]

Received: July 18, 2023 Accepted: August 22, 2023 Published: August 29, 2023


The aim of the study was to create cosmetic formulations used for washing and conditioning based on natural whey derived from tofu. Tofu whey used in the production of hair cosmetics turns out to be valuable waste that replaces water. Whey is an ingredient rich in proteins, oligosaccharides and isoflavones. When trying to follow the principles of sustainable development, we need also to be responsible for protecting water resources. Using whey, we limit water consumption to the necessary minimum. Hence, we also support no water waste trend.

Tofu whey, which is a valuable waste that replaces water, was used in the production of podology products.

The research was conducted following the approval of the Bioethics Committee, resolution number 223/22. Tests confirming or excluding the properties and performance of tofu whey declared by the Ordering Party were carried out at probands’ homes and in the Dermatology Center (Centrum Dermatologii Sp. z o.o.) in Poznan. The probands were volunteers. A group of 30 people was selected for the study according to the indications for the use of the product submitted for experiments. The selection of probands was carried out after a preliminary assessment of the condition of feet and health.

Due to the purpose of the product, the study involved people who declared a desire to improve the appearance and condition of their feet. The study used the imaging method with the participation of a microcamera.

Keywords: Waterless; Tofu whey; Sustainable development; UPCYCLING); MicroCAMERA ® Connected; Cosmetics formulations.


Bioferment from Okara Tofu (OKARA - food waste - UPCYCLING) is the result of a naturally occurring fermentation process, which consists in biotransformation / transformation / of complex chemical compounds (from okara tofu) into simpler, generally better absorbable / bioavailable [1]. We used the okara fermentation (TOFU) process instead of chemical hydrolysis of soy proteins, which consists in the biotransformation of the complex structure of plant tissue into simple compounds with the participation of microorganisms and enzyme proteins synthesized by probiotic bacteria of the genus Lactobacillus. The European Green Deal The "Green Deal" are regulations that aim to transform the European Union into a modern, zero-emission and resource-saving economy. By 2050, it is planned to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55%, which requires transforming the industry into innovative technological solutions in line with the Circular Economy. Biotechnological methods such as fermentation, microfiltration or hydrolysis are therefore a key field of science that enables the development and implementation of a model of production and consumption of cosmetics in a closed circuit. Thanks to the production of the ToforU serum using waste whey from the food production of Tofu cheese, whose processing with the above-mentioned biotechnological methods, we can recover valuable active ingredients of cosmetics, such as inactive hydrolyzed biomass of lactobacillus bacteria, hydrolyzed amino acids and a filtrate that is a substitute for technological water. Thanks to such technology, it is possible not only to produce them in accordance with the green and clean "Green Line" chemistry with a high index of naturalness, but also to use this technology to recuperate waste generated during production, i.e. mixer washings after the production of cosmetic emulsion, thus saving resources in line with the trend water upcycle

Thanks to biotechnological methods, we obtain the necessary, effective and innovative ingredients for the production of cosmetics, saving natural resources of the environment.

This work is an attempt to indicate an innovative technology for the production of cosmetics using biotechnological methods aimed at the use of circular processes, i.e. "take waste - process it into raw material - produce cosmetic - recover waste", reducing the amount of waste as an alternative to linear production processes: take a raw material from the natural environment - produce a cosmetic ingredient - produce a cosmetic - consume - throw away". The most important motivation for the production of cosmetics containing whey from tofu was the waterless trend. Instead of the main base ingredient, which is water, tofu whey was used - a by-product from the production of tofu coming from the food industry. The food industry is the branch of economy that consumes the most water. Food waste is thus a valuable resource. Therefore, the re-use of existing materials (upcycling) for the production of cosmetics has become the main technological task of the discussed cosmetics (Figure 1). The zero-waste trend, which promotes the reuse of existing materials for the production of cosmetics, has also been considered. Additionally, tofu whey is a multifunctional active ingredient [2].