Infused beverages, especially spirits, are rapidly getting popular in Goa. The state has been known for its indigenous as well as other types of alcohol. These infused spirits offer a much awaited change to the locals and tourists that come by.
They offer unique and delicious flavours, making them some of the top picks of late. However, the production of infused spirits has a lot of by-products that are often wasted.
The waste generated in the production of infused spirits can have severe environmental and economic impacts. Common waste products include leftover fruit and herbs, packaging materials and energy usage.
For instance, traditional packaging materials like plastic bottles, often end up in landfills and take a long time to decompose, releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The energy used in production, such as electricity and natural gas, can also generate harmful greenhouse gases, contributing to climate change.
There are several strategies that producers can adopt to reduce waste in the production of infused spirits. One such method is the repurposing of leftover ingredients. This is a sustainable approach to waste reduction, as it involves using the leftovers to create new products, minimising the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.
For instance, leftover fruit from fruit-infused spirits can be used to make jams, jellies or other food products. By repurposing leftover ingredients, producers can reduce waste and generate additional revenue streams.
Another effective method of reducing waste is to use sustainable packaging materials. Producers can opt for eco-friendly packaging options such as reusable glass or bio-degradable packaging materials, minimising the environmental impact of packaging waste.
Such sustainable packaging materials also tend to be more cost-effective in the long run.
Producers can also implement energy-efficient practices to reduce energy usage in the production process. Using renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind power, to power production facilities is a sustainable approach that reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Producers can also adopt energy-efficient practices, such as using natural lighting and energy-efficient equipment, to minimise energy consumption.
Sourcing ingredients locally is another effective strategy for reducing waste in infused spirit production. When ingredients are purchased from far-away places, the carbon footprint of production increases due to transportation emissions.
By sourcing ingredients locally, producers can reduce transportation emissions and support local farmers and businesses.
Clement Desylva, an architect but now the founder of Aani Ek infused Feni plans to take feni, the centuries-old old indigenous drink to the world.
He says, “Honey and cinnamon are natural ingredients that go into the honey cinnamon- infused feni. The leftover cinnamon makes fantastic biomass for any kind of agriculture. Only the zest of lemons is used for infusion in our lemon-infused feni. The rest of the lemon is used to produce an organic floor cleaner which will be in 5 litre cans. The bulk quantity helps minimise the packaging material. The leftover chilli from chilli-infused feni will be used to make chilli oil and will be sold in glass jars. The Aani Ek infused fenis come in glass bottles and natural wooden cork stoppers. The feni is sourced from all over Goa and has no additions of chemicals during the process.”
While Aani Ek is already available in most bars and restaurants, the chilli oil and the floor cleaner will be available in the market very soon.