An engineer who has previously built factories for General Motors andStarbucks, Dan Belliveau founded Coffee Flour, a unique new company that makes flour from the byproduct of coffee production. Using the remains of coffee cherry pulp could not only reshape the environmental and economic impacts of the coffee supply chain, according to the firm, but the resulting gluten-free flour is also said to be highly nutritious and delicious.

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During his time with Starbucks, Belliveau learned that the process of making coffee left a farm with “six acres of pulp” once the beans had been processed. According to a USDA Coffee Report, over 11 billion pounds of coffee were produced worldwide in 2013, but for every pound of coffee made, there is a pound of dried pulp left over.

Related: New Study Suggests Pacific Ocean is Polluted With… Coffee?

Not only does this create waste, but it has a massive impact on the water in areas around coffee mills. According to Belliveau, discovering this led him to wonder: ‘What if we dried it and ground it up and made a food out of it?’”

Working with a colleague at NohBell, Belliveau eventually developed coffee floor, a flour that is not only gluten-free, but is made from coffee cherry and can be combined with other flour to bake a whole host of foodstuffs.

If coffee flour takes off, it would not only solve a major environmental issue, but it would also supplement the income of coffee farmers and provide much-needed nutrition in poorer countries.

Related: Coffee Powered Car Gets 56 Espressos Per Mile

Speaking to The Guardian, Belliveau said he hoped that the nutritional profile of coffee flour will generate wide appeal, as an ounce of coffee flour has more fiber than whole grain wheat flour, more iron than spinach, more potassium than a banana and more protein than fresh kale. “We see a huge Asian market for this,” Belliveau says. “They’re going to be requiring more and more protein.”

+ Coffee Flour

Via The Guardian

Images via Coffee Flour