Tablet has long been able to give you a jolt of pain in the teeth - but now Scotland’s sweetest of sweets may also have the power to produce electricity in the future.
Tablet manufacturer Aldomak in Giffnock is working with researchers from several Scottish universities to see how sugar waste from the process of making the traditional Scottish favourite can be turned into renewable energy.
The firm, along with a syndicate of soft fruit farmers, are to investigate with researchers how waste from their businesses can be used to create new products.
Strathleven Distillers, of Paisley, is also involved in the project
William Houston, managing director of Angus Growers near Arbroath, said the farmers will work to find ways of converting its second class fruit unsuitable for supermarket shelves into alcohol.
He said that energy derived from the tablet’s sugar waste - and converted into by-products such as buthane and methane - could ultimately power the production of new alcohol products.
He said that while cheaper alcohol products could be made from flavouring cheaper alcohol with soft fruits, Mr Houston said research would also be carried out into how unwanted fruit can be distilled into liqueurs.
Mr Houston said: “We represent a big lump of agricultural production in Scotland and we are very proud of our product.
“It is this ethos that is driving us to get rid of waste and to look at new ideas for the future.”
Angus Growers is one member of a syndicate of soft fruit growers which has been awarded £42,000 for the research work, which will be carried out with Aldomak and the distillers.
They will work with academics from Edinburgh Napier University, Heriot Watt University and University of Edinburgh.
Meanwhile, The Farm Waste Utilisation Group, which includes farms in Forfar, Inverurie, Peterhead and Dingwall will work with academics from University of Glasgow, University of the West of Scotland, Robert Gordon University and University of Strathclyde.
The group, which will look at how to turn farm waste into clear gases and liquid fuels, has been awarded £50,000 for their work
The money has been freed up by Interface Food & Drink, which promotes food innovation amongst producers and academia.
Helen Pratt, project manager at Interface Food & Drink, said: “In today’s farming environment, there is increasing pressure to reduce waste, so it’s interesting that both winning entries are for projects which aim not only to reduce waste, but also to convert it into a valued commodity which will benefit the environment and economy.”