Production of brewery wastewater derived protein 'finally' gets green light

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

Production of brewery wastewater derived protein 'finally' gets green light

Related tags: Bacteria

Production of Nutrinsic’s new, sustainable protein source for animal and fish feed is about to go online after some ‘to be expected’ teething problems delayed kick-off by several months.

The Colorado based company’s feed additive, ProFloc, is derived by a patented process involving the leveraging of unused nutrients from food and beverage facility wastewater, and is said to contain 63% protein.

Its first US production facility in Trenton, Ohio was slated to come on-line towards the back end of last year but various hold-ups means it won't be operational until later this month.

“This is a first of its kind type of production process, so it is not surprising we have had some challenges. We are collaborating with Miller Coors brewery in terms of our wastewater nutrient source and that company is proving to be a great partner but we had to get the plant biology running the way we needed and that has taken longer than expected.

We also had construction and equipment related delays.

In addition, we have spent the greater part of the past six months putting our operational protocols in place, ensuring our safety and quality control measures were compliant with best practice and, in tandem with those activities, we needed to get our personnel fully trained up,”​ Dave Holland, vice president of operations at Nutrinsic, told FeedNavigator.

Initial capacity

The producer anticipates capacity of 5,000 tons per annum in the initial phase but plans to scale up to 30,000 tons output within 18 months of production getting underway.

Nutrinsic’s process is based on the fact that bacterial cells, under particular environmental conditions, produce a large amount of protein with a balanced amino acid profile, in addition to an array of vitamins, minerals and other nutritional components.

“Other companies have been trying to capitalize on these benefits of bacteria for the animal feed industry, but we are the first to achieve it in a cost-effective way," ​CEO, Leo Gingras, told us previously.

The ingredient is intended for use in cattle, poultry, pigs and aquaculture fish species. 

As it is upcycling discarded product, the firm said it is developing an environmentally and economically alternative to other plant and animal sources of protein, while eliminating the need for food and beverage processors to dispose of waste. 

Protein produced through this technique is less costly than insect or algae variants, said the CEO.  

Gingras said the production process involved in ProFloc enables the protein to be easily absorbed. A ring dryer, the method of choice in protein manufacture as it prevents scorching, is employed after the bacteria cells are harvested and de-watered. There is also a micro sterilization step to ensure there is no bacterial residue, with the end result being a stable and dry granular product, he added.

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