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Single-cell protein to be evaluated for pig, poultry feed

Earlier studies in salmonids and piglets have shown that ingredient may improve growth and intestinal health.

Unibio A/S is the leader of a new project funded by the Green Development & Demonstration Program (GUDP) under Denmark's Ministry for Food, Fisheries, Equal Opportunities & Nordic Cooperation.

Unibio and its project partners -- DTU Aqua of the Technical University of Denmark; BioMar, a world leader in high-performance diets; the department of veterinary and animal sciences of University of Copenhagen, and Danish Agro, an agro-industrial company -- have been granted funding by GUDP for a project whose main objective is to validate and optimize the nutritional and functional properties of Unibio’s Uniprotein when used as feed for salmonids and piglets.

Earlier studies in salmonids and piglets showed that Uniprotein may improve the growth and intestinal health and reduce nitrogen and phosphorus excretion. By including Uniprotein in commercial feeds, the aim is to increase production potential and animal welfare through improved performance of the tested species.

Uniprotein contains 70% protein, is produced without the use of pesticides, utilizes significantly less water than plant-based protein sources and does not take up farmland. Uniprotein has been approved in the European Union for use in all animal and fish feed.

The outcomes of the project may contribute to the introduction and development of a new sustainable and non-volatile single-cell protein ingredient for commercial use in fish and piglet feed. Essentially, it may become an alternative to overexploited protein sources such as fish meal or land-based soy concentrate products. The production of Uniprotein when using biomethane or waste gas will have low carbon dioxide emissions, and its use in feed is expected to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus excretion as a result of improved nutrient retention, the company said.

According to the board of GUDP, “A good and relevant project that contributes to the development of new alternative protein sources for feed producers and, thus, the aquaculture and pig farming industries. The project has relevant participants and appears to be highly professional. The financial aspects of the project are positive and the business plans of the participating companies well written. The project is interdisciplinary, approaching both the aquaculture and pig farming industries, which is positive.”

Unibio chief commercial officer Michael Jensen said, “Adding more know-how and data to the use of Uniprotein in feed while addressing the need to reduce the impact or stress on the environment are important focus areas for Unibio. We wish to further document the benefits of using Uniprotein in feed, thus addressing the commercial side of the business while at the same time addressing the concern of the consumers. We wish to be known as a company which can contribute to reducing the environmental impact of meat production to the benefit of us all.”

Unibio is a Denmark-based biotech company whose demonstration plant in Kalundborg, Denmark, is co-financed by Innovation Fund Denmark. The first full-scale production plant has been built in Russia by Protelux under license from Unibio.

TAGS: Nutrition
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