How non-land-based and non-fish-stock-based protein will become the protein of the future


July 9, 2019 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Aquaculture News,News-Global



In the future feed for fish and animals will be produced partly by using protein with minimum dependence on soil and water. Unibio is the project leader of a new project funded by GUDP, the Green Development and Demonstration Programme, a funding programme under the Danish Ministry for Food, Fisheries, Equal Opportunities and 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 (KU) 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 have shown that Uniprotein® may improve growth and intestinal health and reduce N and P excretion. By inclusion of Uniprotein® in commercial feeds, the aim is to increase the production potential and animal welfare through improved performance of the tested species.

The outcomes of the project will 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.  Uniprotein® will be an alternative to overexploited protein sources such as fishmeal or land-based soy concentrate products. The production of  Uniprotein® when using biomethane or waste gas will have low CO2 emissions, and the use of Uniprotein® in feeding is expected to reduce N and P excretion as a result of improved nutrient retention.

The board of GUDP comments: “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 states: “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.”  

About the project

  • Project title: “Sustainable protein ingredient for animal feed (SUPIAF)”
  • Call: GUDP
  • Project Coordinator: Unibio
  • 5 partners: Unibio, DTU Aqua, BioMar, University of Copenhagen, Danish Agro
  • Duration: 2019 – 2022
  • Budget: EUR 1.3 million

About Unibio

  • Unibio A/S is a Danish-based biotech company
  • Uniprotein® is produced on the basis, among other things, of methane as feedstock in Unibio’s U-Loop® fermentor, which has been developed in close cooperation with the Technical University of Denmark
  • Uniprotein® is organic
  • Unibio’s demonstration plant in Kalundborg is co-financed by Innovation Fund Denmark, which sees great potential in industrial protein production
  • The first full-scale production plant has been built in Russia by Protelux under licence from Unibio
  • 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 farm land
  • Uniprotein® has been approved in the EU for use in all animal and fish feed