EU algae, insect and yeast sectors collaborate to push alt protein in EU

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Richard Drury
© GettyImages/Richard Drury

Related tags Algae Yeast insects

The EU algae, insect, and yeast industry bodies are teaming up to drive the development of protein production in the region.

The EU umbrella organizations for the algae sector, EABA, for the yeast industry, COFALEC, and for the insect production sectors, IPIFF, have developed a roadmap that focuses on four main pillars: unlocking regulatory opportunities, facilitating access to green investment, supporting R&D efforts, and developing joint promotion activities.

The three groups are looking to achieve their goals through establishing a "more robust discussion platform" ​focusing on the EU Commission’s Farm to Fork (F2F) strategy objectives.

A goal of the F2F is to reduce the dependency on critical feed materials like soy grown on deforested land by fostering EU-grown plant proteins, as well as alternative protein ingredients. Under legislative changes brought in this year, processed animal proteins (PAPs) such as insects​ are now authorized for use in poultry and pig feed in the EU.  

More concretely, a spokesperson for IPIFF told us, the aim of the collaborative effort, which is focused on both food and feed industry application, is to exchange ideas on good practices and strengthen synergies around the four pillars.

The organizations will work together to facilitate greater access to public and private funding, to further explore the nutritional and environmental benefits of algae, yeast and insects in the context of EU-funded research and innovation programs and to develop joint awareness-raising campaigns on those benefits.

‘The scientific evidence from past years provides promising directions to raise awareness around the nutritional and environmental benefits of alternative proteins and, along with other sectors active in the production of such new proteins, we are committed to addressing possible challenges,”​ commented IPIFF second vice-president, Antoine Hubert.

Algae project 

In September this year, we reported on a project that is intent on driving scalable production of algae from carbon emissions​. The initiative is being run by Livalta, an AB Agri division, and Canada’s Pond Technology. 

To date, the technology to produce algae at the scale, quality and cost required to be an affordable ingredient for animal feed, has remained elusive, said the partners, but this alliance, which brings together Pond’s ground-breaking technology with Livalta’s expertise in new proteins for animal feeds, is set to change that.

An algae demonstration system from Pond for CA$2.2m will be installed at British Sugar’s Wissington site in Norfolk in 2022. That pilot operation will be followed by a commercial-sized plant at the same site producing 20,000 tons of spirulina from CO2 emissions. 

The European Algae Biomass Association (EABA) ​acts as a catalyst for fostering synergies among scientists, companies, and policy makers to promote the development of research, technology, and industrial capacities in the field of algae. 

The Confederation of yeast producers (COFALEC) ​represents the EU yeast industry, which comprises 33 factories throughout the bloc that generate one million tons of yeast each year. 

The International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF) ​is a non-profit organization representing the interests of the insect production sector. Composed of 83 members, most of which are European insect companies, IPIFF promotes the use of insects and insect derived products for application in food and feed. 

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