Bread tends to be one of the most wasted food products, with millions of loaves of bread making their way to landfills all around the world every year.

In New Zealand alone, over 10 million loaves of bread are wasted every year, which is why researchers there are seeking to become the world’s leading bread recycler by developing a new process for restoring stale bread through fermentation.

Dr. Aydin Berenijan, along with New Zealand manufacturing company Goodman Fielder, has found a way to transform expired bread into a product similar to white or sourdough bread. At that point, it can then last for up to seven days at room temperature.

Dr. Berenijan says that companies will have expired bread returned to them. Some of it will be turned into bread crumbs, but most of it is tossed. “When it goes to the landfill, it causes huge environmental problems, as well as millions of dollars lost,” he says.

This can also cause environmental hazards, as the waste product leachate. This is liquid that features substances harmful to the environment through groundwater contamination and carbon dioxide emissions.

In addition to environmental benefits, Dr. Berenijan claims that the restored bread will also have health benefits. He says that the probiotics used in the fermentation process will aid in digestion and could increase the immune system’s defense, and the bread will have amino acids and high resistance starch.