Tayside and Central Scotland

Distiller uses peas to make 'climate positive' gin

Kirsty Black Image copyright Arbikie
Image caption Kirsty Black created the spirit following five years of research

Scottish scientists claim to have developed the world's first "climate positive" gin, using garden peas.

Arbikie Distillery in Angus said the production of its Nadar gin removes more carbon dioxide than it creates.

Using peas instead of wheat avoids the carbon emissions created by synthetic fertilisers, and the leftover peas are then used to make animal feed.

The company's master distiller, PhD student Kirsty Black, created the spirit after five years of research.

Ms Black said the pea gin is flavoured using natural botanicals, lemongrass and citrus leaf.

Pea plants improve soil quality by taking nitrogen out of the air and fixing it in the ground.

Image copyright Getty Images

The gin's negative carbon footprint is also achieved by making animal feed from the useable parts of the peas which are left after distilling.

During distillation, the leftover pea protein and spent yeast creates a waste product known as pot ale, which can be used to feed animals.

The research team behind the gin is investigating whether pot ale protein can be isolated and consumed by humans.

Ms Black conducted her research at Abertay University and the James Hutton Institute. Her PhD examines the potential of pulses as an environmentally-sustainable feedstock to the brewing and distilling industries.

She said: "Year-on-year we see the weather, harvest timings and crop quality change, all highlighting the need to address the climate crisis now.

"By producing the world's first climate positive gin, we are taking initial steps towards improving our environmental impact, while demonstrating what can be achieved when like-minded researchers and businesses come together."

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