Single cell protein company takes home top prize in innovation competition

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/ptasha
© GettyImages/ptasha

Related tags Single cell protein Nutreco Skretting Aquaculture

Finnish company, eniferBio, has won this year’s Nutreco Feed and Food Tech Challenge (NFTC2020).

The single cell protein (SCP) producer will now get to validate its technology in a salmon feeding trial with Skretting/Nutreco, with such a trial valued at €50,000.

Heikki Keskitalo, CTO, eniferBio​, told FeedNavigator the competition was a great way to introduce the startup’s solution to a group of the scale of Nutreco. Along with the validation trial, the contest saw the Finnish company generate a lot of new contacts and the innovator also gained plentiful feedback from industry insiders, he added.

Nutreco says the challenge, which began in 2017, acknowledges the best breakthrough innovations in livestock farming, aquaculture and, for the first time this year, alternative food proteins.

This time out, 15 finalists were selected from over 110 submissions by startups from across the globe. They were eventually whittled down to three and, on September 22, those finalists - eniferBio, Poultrix and Bond Pet Foods - pitched again to the NFTC2020 jury in an attempt to win the top spot in the competition.

The jury consisted of Nutreco and external experts such as AquaSpark’s Mike Velings, Mathieu Castex of Lallemand Animal Nutrition and David Welch of The Good Food Institute. 

Other prizewinners

In second place was Poultrix from Israel, a digital solutions provider looking to support poultry integrators manage their farming operations in a more efficient, sustainable and responsible way.  It was awarded €10,000.

Coming in third was Bond Pet Foods. It received €5K. The Colorado-based innovator is said to be producing high-quality cultured animal proteins through fermentation.

Fumi Ingredients, a company developing egg replacers based on microorganisms, was the winner of the audience award for the best pitch at the challenge, and it also won €5K.

Alex Obach, aquaculture NFTC2020 juror and head of R&D at Skretting, said eniferBio’s innovation addresses raw material sustainability, one of the key challenges the aquaculture industry is facing today. “I look forward to working with them to validate their technology and to explore further collaboration.”

The next edition of the Nutreco Feed & Food Tech Challenge will take place in 2022.  

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