Finnish biotech collaborates with Tereos to supply novel protein for salmon feeding trials

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Thank you for your assistant
© GettyImages/Thank you for your assistant

Related tags Single cell protein Starch sugar Aquaculture

Validation trials for the mycoprotein developed by Nutreco Feed (&Food) Tech Challenge (NFTC) 2020 winner, Finnish biotech, eniferBio, are getting underway.

The start-up, which began life in the startup incubator, Launchpad, run by Finnish technical research organization, VTT, has successfully completed its process piloting trials and is now taking the next step towards validating its single cell protein (SCP) product, Pekilo, in salmon feeding studies, reported Nutreco.

Skretting, which is Nutreco’s aquaculture division, will corroborate the efficacy of the new ingredient through trials held in R&D facilities at the Skretting Aquaculture Research Centre (ARC) in Norway. 

Leveraging cheap, fermentable side streams

Pekilo protein, which is an SCP derived from fungi, needs to be produced at scale to get the quantities necessary for testing. Tereos, a leading player in the sugar, alcohol, and starch markets, is supporting the startup in that regard, providing the raw material for the trial, in the form of a by-product from the production of ethanol from beet molasses called vinasse. 

This pilot trial is an excellent example of bringing together the whole value chain in Europe,” ​said eniferBio CEO, Simo Ellilä. 

Designed to leverage cheap, fermentable side streams - sugars, acetic acid, formic acid, and methanol - the Pekilo production process is very scalable, he explained.

The mycoprotein can also be produced close to the end users supporting them in efforts to decrease dependence on imported protein. 

Pekilo production process

vtt concept

Trial schedule 

Since winning the NFTC in September 2020, eniferBio has been working very closely with Skretting. Desktop assessment work carried out by the novel ingredients team at the Nutreco fish feed division identified that Pekilo shows great promise in terms of an alternative protein source to marine and soy proteins in aqua feed.

The trials are set to run for over the next six months; results are expected at the end of 2021.

The NFTC is a biennial competition that acknowledges the best breakthrough innovations within livestock farming, aquaculture, and alternative food proteins. Startups across the globe submit their breakthrough innovations to address critical challenges in the feed and food value chain. The winning start-up receives a validation trial, worth €50,000, at one of Nutreco’s research centers.

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